New CCAD President has Whirlwind First Weeks

July 17th, 2014 by Lacey Luce
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CCAD President Tom White (R) was invited to attend an event with RKS Design and Tesla Motors

CCAD President Tom White (R) was invited to attend an event with RKS Design and Tesla Motors

Some people just hit the ground running, but Tom White spent his first three weeks as CCAD’s new president at a high-speed sprint…and he isn’t even winded.

Officially named president June 24, White has met his new board, staff, colleagues, students, and city leaders in a schedule filled with planned meetings and events.

Relocating from California necessitated a quick trip west during his second week, where he eagerly represented CCAD at an event with design leaders Tesla Motors sponsored by RKS Design, an international design firm.

The design-centric event offered a unique opportunity to meet with Javier Verdura, director of product design and project management for Tesla Motors.

CCAD President Tom White addresses Columbus City Council

CCAD President Tom White addresses Columbus City Council

“Tesla Motors is a great example of how vision and commitment to a cause drives design, innovation and commerce. Companies like Tesla and RKS are the future employers of art and design students.”

While networking with design industry luminaries in Los Angeles, White recruited RKS CEO Ravi Sawhney to speak at CCAD as a visiting artist.

Returning to Columbus, White appeared before the Columbus City Council to advocate for a second year of city funding for the CCAD MindMarket.

Fortunately for White, some of his “duties” were a little less taxing.

Still house hunting, White temporarily moved into CCAD’s Design Square Apartments.

“This is an amazing opportunity to connect with students where we all live. The apartment is not only beautiful, but close—I can be sautéing salmon for dinner within 15 minutes of leaving my office!”

CCAD President Tom White, Dean Tom Gattis, and guest artist Jason Hackenworth with the College PreView class of 2014

CCAD President Tom White, Dean Tom Gattis, and guest artist Jason Hackenwerth with the College PreView class of 2014

“Of course, our plan is to buy a house in one of Columbus’s beautiful neighborhoods, and we’re still exploring.”

His temporary home offered another benefit: the CCAD College PreView grand finale was only steps from his door.

Families of the participating students, faculty, staff, and more converged on the campus for food, music, and an exhibition of work created during the three-week program. The highlight of the night was the larger than life balloon sculptures created in collaboration with guest artist Jason Hackenwerth. The 20-foot sculptures were suspended from cranes where they could be lowered, raised, and moved from side to side.

President White took his turn operating one of the cranes—to the delight of the student audience. While he enjoyed the more relaxed opportunity to mingle, he didn’t waste the opportunity and quickly began talking to Hackenwerth about coming back to campus as part of the college’s Visiting Artist Series.

CCAD President Tom White (L) with College PreView guest artist Jason Hackenworth

CCAD President Tom White (L) with College PreView guest artist Jason Hackenwerth

“Jason is a remarkably talented artist, and a delightful person. I’m thrilled that Tom Gattis was able to invite him to come join us this week. The night was an unforgettable celebration for everyone who attended.”

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One Response to “New CCAD President has Whirlwind First Weeks”

  1. Mark Corna says:

    Well done!