BMCC Receives Generous Gift From Supporter Loretta Lee

May 9, 2016

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Foundation has received a $75,000 gift from Merchant House International Group founder Loretta Lee. The money will be used to fund a scholarship, an international internship and an upcoming art exhibit.

The BMCC Foundation, Inc. Loretta Lee Scholarship is for students graduating in Spring/Summer 2016. The selected student will be awarded up to $25,000 a year, for two years, to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in art. The deadline to apply is May 13.

Also in Spring 2016, BMCC Music & Art faculty will select a design-focused art student for the Summer 2016 internship at Lee’s factories in Mainland China and Hong Kong. The trip will be organized through the Office of Internships and Experiential Learning in partnership with the Department of Art and Music as well as the BMCC Foundation.

LeeLoretta Lee

“The student will travel to Hong Kong for a week of orientation and cultural immersion at one of Lee’s facilities. Then, they will spend eight weeks working in various capacities in her textile manufacturing plant,” said Laura Burrell, Director, Internships and Experiential Learning, BMCC.

Specifically, the student will spend time learning merchandising skills, formal production plans and machinery set-up. They will also learn the nuts and bolts of quality control inspection, lab testing and final packing. The student will also take part in computer embroidery workshops.

A BMCC student will obtain new knowledge and perceptions about Chinese culture, the importance of collaboration through working with the textile and manufacturing community, overall offering a truly transformative learning experience and new skills to bring back and share with BMCC students, faculty and staff, Burrell says.

“We are excited about this unique opportunity for a BMCC student to learn first-hand, the practical aspects of textile design, printing, manufacturing and merchandising,” said BMCC President Antonio Pérez.

“We are grateful to Loretta Lee for her generous gift making this internship and scholarship possible, and for enabling our students to apply their art and design skills in a global setting.”

Loretta Lee of Loretta Lee Ltd., and her company Merchant House International Ltd., source, produce and sell consumer products with an emphasis on footwear, home textiles, seasonal decorations and gifts.

Doris Holz, Vice President of Development and Chief Operating Officer, BMCC Foundation echoed the President’s sentiment.

“We are so grateful to Loretta Lee, for her generous friendship and her creative ideas for supporting our students,” said Holz.

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