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The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation has pledged $250,000 over five years to support the new Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum facility, part of the Sullivant Hall renovation at The Ohio State University. In recognition of this gift, the library’s seminar room will be named in honor of Will Eisner. The Eisner Family Foundation gift will be matched dollar for dollar by Jean Schulz, widow of Peanuts’ creator Charles M. Schulz, giving it a $500,000 impact on the project. Ms. Schulz has promised to match donations to the new facility up to $2.5 million.
Creator of The Spirit, Will Eisner (1917-2005) is noted as the father of the graphic novel for his ground-breaking book, A Contract with God. He was also an early and influential analyst of sequential graphic narrative with his book Comics and Sequential Art. In addition to his eight decade career as a cartoonist, Eisner taught for many years at the School of Visual Arts.
“We are very grateful for the support of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation. Their generous gift brings us much closer to meeting the total Schulz Challenge of $2.5 million,” said Lucy Shelton Caswell, professor and curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. “It is particularly appropriate to name the seminar room in honor of Will Eisner because he was a gifted teacher who genuinely cared about his students.”
The Sullivant Hall renovation is estimated to cost $24.4 million and is scheduled to be completed in 2013, at which time Sullivant Hall will house the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum as well as The Ohio State University Department of Dance and the Department of Art Education. Upon completion of the Schulz Challenge, the Sullivant Hall renovation will be completely funded.