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Letter from the Chair of the Board of Trustees

Mei Lee at Otis College of Art and DesignAs the group responsible for ensuring the financial well-being of Otis College of Art and Design, the Board of Trustees navigated unique challenges during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. I am immensely proud  of the Board for leading  with determination and purpose through an unprecedented time to ensure  the College’s continued success. Indeed, by working in close partnership with the Otis administration, faculty, and staff, we have emerged a stronger and more financially secure institution.

During the 2020-2021 year, the Board welcomed a slate of new, highly accomplished, and committed Trustees passionate about our mission. We also honored Kirk Hyde, who stepped down from the Board after nearly a decade of service to the College; we are deeply grateful that Kirk, a parent of two Otis alumni, continues to be engaged with the College.  This past fiscal year, we also welcomed Patti Röckenwagner and Todd Goldstein as the new Co-Chairs of our Board of Governors, an advisory group that works closely with the Board of Trustees and the President’s Office. The Governors serve as ambassadors of the College to raise awareness among the general public, and specifically prospective students and faculty, to help establish new pathways for employment for graduates, and to grow fundraising efforts. We were pleased to see the Board of Governors double in size and deepen its involvement with the College over the past year.

As Board Chair, I am grateful to all on the Honor Roll of Donors who support Otis College through financial  means, as well as the numerous volunteers who contribute their time and expertise. 

Our collective support makes a profound difference:

  • Otis College ranks in the top 1% of colleges and universities in the nation for ethnic and racial diversity of its student body.
  • In 2020-2021, nearly 25% of new students were “first generation” students—the first in their family to pursue higher education.
  • Approximately 80% of Otis College students received financial aid in 2020-2021.

A great many emerging artists and designers would not be studying  at Otis without vital financial assistance. They depend on the generosity of those who believe in a quality art and design education, and the power of artists and designers to change our world for the better.

Thank you for being a critical part of the Otis College community.


Mei-Lee Ney

Chair, Board of Trustees