In memoriam: beloved CCAD Fashion Design Professor Billie Ingram

Billie Ingram taught Fashion Design at CCAD for decades.

Billie Ingram was a beloved faculty member who helped develop the Fashion Design program at Columbus College of Art & Design. She taught for nearly three decades. Credit: CCAD alum Kelsey McClellan (Photography, 2012).

The Fashion Design program at Columbus College of Art & Design wouldn't be what it is today without the hard work of Billie Ingram.

Ingram, who started teaching at CCAD in 1968, went on to help develop the Fashion Design major, where she continued to teach until her retirement in 1996.

Ingram died Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, at her home in Clintonville. She was 93. 

“Billie taught hundreds, if not thousands, of students during her time at CCAD, and she was a driving force behind our Fashion Design program,” said Suzanne Cotton, Chair of CCAD’s Fashion Design program. “She left a mark on her students, who bragged about studying with her even years later. When I was working in New York before I joined CCAD, I’d often hear designers mention her name.”

Ingram was hired to help create a retail advertising sub-division under the advertising department. She was instrumental in developing the department’s curriculum and went on to help launch CCAD’s Fashion Design major.

In a 2014 interview with CCAD alum Nigel Ewan (Advertising & Graphic Design, 2014), Ingram recalled her fondness for her students.

“People were interested in my subject and my class, and I never had discipline problems,” she said. “I told them at the very beginning: we’re not in an adversarial situation anymore like in high school. You’re paying big money to come here and find out what I know, and we both want the same thing because if you’re not successful, I’m not successful. And I convinced them that I loved every single one of them, which I did.”

Ingram was the daughter of Ishmael Harris of Ashland, Kentucky, and Grace Davis Temple of Kenton, Ohio. She was the former wife of Robert L. Ingram of Montgomery, Alabama, and the mother of the late sons Bruce Ingram and Grey Ingram. She is survived by son William Ralph Ingram.

A memorial service will take place Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Riverside Bible Church at 5330 Olentangy River Rd. Read Ingram's obituary and share condolences here.