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May 11, 2012/For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu


WINSTON-SALEM – The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has named Mrs. Susan S. Gates and Mr. John D. Gates of Winston-Salem as the recipients of the 2012 Giannini Society Award.

The Gateses were recognized at the recent School of the Arts University commencement at the Stevens Center on May 6. They were cited for “their passion and dedication” to UNCSA.

The Gateses have been avid supporters and friends of UNCSA for more than three decades. John is the former editor of the editorial page of the Winston-Salem Journal, and Susie is the founder of Designed by Snooze.

John and Susie Gates

John joined the UNCSA Board of Visitors in 2003 and currently serves as co-chair of the board’s Advancement Committee to further enhance the school’s private fund-raising initiatives and funding priorities.

Susie and John have been actively engaged in the growth of UNCSA and are committed to advancing the school’s unique mission through their work on campus, in the community, and beyond. They are passionate about generating community support for all UNCSA’s arts conservatories and their various needs. In addition to John’s service on the Board of Visitors, he currently serves on the Giannini Advisory Committee and is an ardent volunteer in the school’s annual fund-raising program.

He is also a member of the Hamlin Scholarship Committee, a team of dedicated people who seek to bring economic and cultural diversity to the student body at UNCSA. As president of the revived Associates, John led this amazing group of volunteer advocates and promoted programs that supported students and UNCSA. His love for UNCSA and friendship with Drama Dean Gerald Freedman and Assistant Dean Robert Beseda were embraced by his daughter, Ashley Gates Jansen, who is a UNCSA alumna and an adjunct faculty-artist in the School of Drama.

Being passionate supporters of the arts, Susie and John have also channeled their creative energy and dedication into community arts organizations. John has served on the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and on the Advisory Council of No Rules Theatre Company for Winston-Salem.

A love of theatre prompted Susie and John to make a leading gift to UNCSA in 2003 in support of building Patrons Theatre, a campus venue that seats approximately 100 people. Their hearts are with every student, every performance, and every work of art produced at UNCSA.

Given in recognition of meritorious service to UNCSA, the Giannini Society Award is one of the university’s most prestigious honors. Previous recipients include founders, board members, alumni, volunteers and former chancellors.

The Giannini Society was established in 1989 and was named in honor of Vittorio Giannini, a founder and first president of the School of the Arts.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.