Press Release

PAFA Receives $1M Gift for Tuition Scholarships

James J. & Frances M. Maguire Renew Commitment to Gifted Emerging Artists

PHILADELPHIA (May 17, 2019) -- A new $1 million gift from The Maguire Foundation, longtime supporters of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), will make the highest quality of fine arts training available to the most gifted emerging artists.

The James J. & Frances M. Maguire Scholarship for Artistic Excellence, a full-tuition scholarship, will allow 12 students to attend PAFA free of tuition. The scholarship will benefit three students entering the Academy in fall, 2019, and three enrolling in each of the following three years.

The Foundation initially established the scholarship in 2015. It provided funding for 12 students who entered PAFA between 2015 and 2018.

The Maguire Foundation provides scholarships for outstanding incoming, full-time undergraduate students. Based on the merits of their application portfolio, students are nominated by faculty members on the Admissions Committee during the application process.

“PAFA is honored to be able to continue offering The James J. & Frances M. Maguire Scholarship for Artistic Excellence,” said PAFA President and CEO David Brigham. “This opportunity ensures our ability to attract and support the most promising student artists. We are very grateful to the Maguire family and the Foundation for this generous grant and the scholarship program it makes possible.”

Rachel Drennan, a third-year painting student in PAFA’s Certificate program, received the Maguire Scholarship for Artistic Excellence to study at the Academy. She plans to pursue the PAFA/Penn BFA once she graduates.

“I was so excited to receive the scholarship—it was such a blessing,” Drennan said. “I had drawing ability, a lot of good ideas, a creative mind, and I showed that I had potential. Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t have been able to go to art school. It was definitely meant to be.”

The James J. & Frances M. Maguire Scholarship for Artistic Excellence greatly increase the school’s ability to provide financial assistance to students. At present, PAFA awards close to $5 million in scholarships to students annually.

“The Maguire Foundation recognizes the importance of the arts in our community and that art education enhances one’s quality of life,” said Maguire Foundation President and CEO Megan Maguire Nicoletti. “If by providing financial support, we can help students build a strong foundation for success in the arts, then we are honored to do so.”

James Maguire, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corporation, and Frances Maguire, a PAFA Honorary Trustee and alumna, have long been generous supporters of PAFA. The Maguires previously made a naming gift to establish the Frances M. Maguire Gallery in honor of PAFA faculty and have supported numerous students at PAFA through the Maguire Scholars Program, a scholarship based on academic merit and financial need.

The couple also supports The Frances M. Maguire Pre-College Program, which offers college-level studio art instruction to students enrolled in eligible Maguire partner schools. The program, which builds observational drawing and painting skills, emphasizing proficiency with materials and techniques, features a combination of online instruction supplemented by in-studio sessions on PAFA's campus. The Maguires also fully fund at least 15 students from partner schools in PAFA’s Summer One-Week High School Intensives program.


About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.