The Impact of Attending Moore

Moore College of Art & Design is continuing to celebrate its proud history as the oldest and only women's visual arts college in the United States.   In January 2014, we surveyed our alumni asking to hear about their experiences of attending an all-women’s visual arts college and of the impact it has had on their lives and careers.   This is what we heard.

“I don't need 200 words to describe my experience at Moore. You changed my life…I soared…I found my gifts….I experienced a career very few will ever know….thank you Moore!” Sharon Wohlmuth ’75, Photography

“I have been working steadily as a graphic designer since I graduated Moore in 1993. That's twenty years of working in the field that I was trained in; twenty years of creative thought, a design process that was honed at Moore. Twenty years of being proud of the work I produce. How long is twenty years? Basically, half of my lifetime! I cannot stress how Moore gave me the training and skills for a life-long career, networking opportunities and friendships that make me who I am today, and the discipline to work through every challenge I've ever faced.” Susan Rogozinski ‘93, Graphic Design

“Moore simply changed my life. Being able to create without the encumbrances of social pressures allowed me the freedom to be more myself in person and creative expression. All these years later, I realize my instructors exceeded the other programs available at the time. I learned real skills, real ideas, and was pushed to learn limits and possibilities. I still work in the arts after 45 years (commercial artist, teacher, and now full-time painter), and consider myself a lifelong artist as a result of the support and knowledge I received at Moore. I still have friends from my graduating class, and consider myself an active alumna even though I'm 800 miles away. Thank you Moore for four great years of learning and growing, and thanks for making Philadelphia your home, and an extension of the whole experience. I'd do it all again!”  Suzanne Seeman Hetzel ‘69, Illustration

“My parents were so impressed with Moore’s professional, forward-thinking, caring atmosphere - and they didn't see the nude models on the tour! But everything about Moore was challenging - yet inspiring. It showed me that with hard work, determination and constructive criticism paths to creative success unfold, and doors will open. My mother always said there's no such word as ‘can't.’, and Moore paved the road for ‘I can.’  If I were at Moore today....I would take EVERY class I could, within my major or not. You never know what you will learn in the process. Or what you will need in the future!” Diane Prekup ‘79, Advertising Design

“The first smart decision of my adult life was choosing to attend Moore over the large state university in my hometown. The second great decision was choosing to major in textile design. Michael, Deborah, Lewis and Matthew were and remain the greatest influences in my life as a professional and as a creative thinker. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear their voices and take their advice: ‘Push it further!’ ‘Sketch it out!’ ‘Pay attention to details!’ ‘Listen carefully and then apply!’ But even more than their words are the lasting confidence and sense of achievement they instilled in me. I wasn’t aware of my strengths and capabilities before I studied with them, and I don’t think I would have discovered my talents and received the nurturing and mentorship I needed had I enrolled in a state school. Moore’s intimate classroom environments and daylong studios allowed for the time and guidance required to investigate, solve, apply, and create. This is the process I use in my work, today, and no other environment but the textile program at Moore could have delivered it.” Ali Basye ‘92, Textile Design

“I knew I wanted to go to art school and chose Moore to continue a family tradition. My mother attended the Moore Institute for Women on Broad Street on a full, four-year scholarship because she was from a large, poor family. An award-winning artist, she graduated in 1939 and would be the only one of her six siblings to obtain a college degree. By the time I attended Moore, it had moved to 20th Street and had expanded its curriculum. I found a vibrant environment where class-size was small, instructors were encouraging and all of the women felt like my sisters. That was what I most take from my four years at Moore in the 1970s - the nurturing environment in a time when women were free to blossom and thrive. I majored in photography, in a track that followed a fine arts curriculum. My intention was to become a photojournalist for a newspaper and, ultimately, I would go on to do just that, first at my hometown, weekly newspaper in South Jersey, and then at the Main Line Times in Ardmore. Now managing editor with that same paper that has expanded to become a digital daily source of news online, I'm proud to tell people that I arrived at my position with a lot of creativity thanks to a degree from Moore College of Art.” Susan Greenspon ‘78 Photography

“I chose to attend Moore because I was impressed with the high level of experience that the professors had, and with the wonderful, natural light that flowed into the studios. Yes, of all things, the light was impressive!! But I also wanted to attend a college where I could stay focused on my discipline and not be sidetracked by things like sports, boys, sororities and fraternities. I made the right choice. My teachers imparted a wealth of information upon us from their own experiences in the field. And they had the foresight to know what would serve us in the future and thus built a curriculum for us that would serve us going forward. That was a smart move as I am still and always have been working in my field since graduation. Things have changed quite a bit, but the wall reviews and critiques have not! While at Moore I forged wonderful and close friendships with some very talented women. It was great to get to know others who were majoring in different artistic fields. Because of that, I was able to expand my creativity so much more. There is a strong bond and a close community that exists there at Moore. I'm so glad that I was able to be a part of that. I'm sure that all these things are in part what contribute to a strong foundation for a successful graduate of Moore. My advice to anyone considering Moore would be to go and open yourself up to your fellow students and teachers, don't be afraid to crossover and dabble in other disciplines outside your field...it may very well enhance your own area of study and your life.”  Micka Klauck ‘86, Fashion Illustration

“The unemployment rate was high when I graduated from Moore in 1976. Entry-level advertising jobs were few and the competition to secure one was tough. Thanks to the excellent base that Moore had provided, I successfully entered the work force in my field of study within 3 months. I soon realized that the education I had received was far superior to that of my fellow workers. I attribute this to several things. First of all, Moore's curriculum was excellent, up-to-date, and employment specific. Small class sizes promoted individual student attention from the professors. Also, students were serious about bettering their craft and succeeding but the atmosphere was not cutthroat. When needed, help could be obtained simply by asking a classmate. My career in advertising lasted for more than 35 years. During that time, bits and pieces of wisdom from my college training were used on a daily basis. Retirement has allowed me to explore other media and I find myself reaching even deeper into the bank of skills and information that Moore gave me so many years ago. Any young woman who is considering Moore to advance her education can expect to receive an excellent career-specific background as well as a broad artistic base. Both will be more valuable than imagined.” Carol Stickles ‘76, Advertising Design

“On applying to Moore I never considered that it was all women. It was in a city with all types of people and it never occurred to me to worry about the gender of my classmates. Being in a city was something else— this was the coolest thing ever. With Logan Circle, the museums and library—I had arrived. I worked very hard, majoring in graphic design. My instructors all worked in the industry and their stories and experiences opened doors to a world I never knew existed. It wasn’t until years later that I recognized the value of an all women college. At a seminar a few years ago I noticed that there were few women my age— there were lots of men but few women, and then I realized that when I was in school there were very few women in my field. At Moore I was treated with respect and valued for my work. It never entered my mind it might be unusual for women to work in graphic design. I learned this soon enough but had been given confidence in my abilities so I just kept going. I felt I was an artist/designer and could apply what I had learned to many fields. I might need to learn a different skill set but my sense of design, cultivated at Moore, gave me a very strong foundation and belief in myself.” Beth Reinhardt Emmott ‘66 Graphic Design (Advertising Art)

“I chose Moore for the prestige of going to such a well-respected college. The fact that it was all female was a plus I did not realize until I was fully emerged into my major; Advertising. The highlight was being in Center City Philly surrounded by the various museums and history of the city. The fact that my professors were working professionals in the field of advertising was the best mentoring and education I could have ever hoped for. The positive impact of ‘all women’ supporting each other and their talents was amazing, It was not a competitive Big Man on campus’ or bullying situation. Without sounding totally sexiest, an all-female environment is very nurturing. The advice I would give, make the most of these years at Moore. Learn the latest technology, don't waste a minute, you will never regret it. I went from Moore to opening my own design firm which is still running strong after 30+ years. I own so much of my confidence, talent and tenacity to my education at Moore.” Margaret Hangsterfer Walsh ’72, Graphic Design (Advertising Art)   

“The greatest impact Moore had for me was the assumption that you would make your living through your art. It was life-saving as I subsequently had to raise two children alone by practicing fashion design, interior design and now, painting. I am VERY grateful.” Mary Catherine Chamberlain Wagoner ’63, Fashion Design

“Hailing from a small Western Pennsylvania town, I was tired of hearing the word ‘NO’ from my public school. It caused me to react by working harder to guarantee I would succeed. I set high standards for my future. Surrounded by equally determined, like-minded talent and supportive mentors placed me on track to develop my skills professionally, strengthen my weaknesses, and noticeably grow each semester. Moore was the only option for me. At times it was difficult to appreciate the criticism and unfiltered advice from educators and peers. I now realize I learned valuable lessons and have applied them to my professional and personal life. Without the guidance from my professors and friends I could have easily strayed from my original goals. I have remained connected to many of my college friends. I don’t look further than the group of inspiring women I met a little over a decade ago to boost my spirit and allow me to continue on my path. I am fortunate to now be an artist, entrepreneur, designer, wife and mother. I often draw power from the words of my professors: Jill Furst, Frieda Fehrenbacher, Anne Siedman and Tendai Johnson - a few that had an impact on me at Moore. I also know that I am NOT the exception—each graduate has gained the extraordinary education and network available only as Moore College of Art & Design women.” Melissa Bourdess Wilt '02, Graphic Design