Michon Proctor ’14 recently filed her taxes for the first time. After receiving her refund in the mail, she suddenly had a realization:
I wouldn’t be filing taxes if it wasn’t for Moore. I wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for Moore.
Proctor, 25, an Interior Design alumna who works at the Washington (D.C.) Design Center, promptly went online and made a $50 gift to Moore’s Annual Fund.
“I donated money while just starting my career because I felt like giving back was my way of saying thank you for giving me the opportunity to have a great education,” she said. “I also hoped that someone else like me could really benefit from the money. Waiting a few years to donate meant someone else could wait a few years when they need the money right now.”
Proctor knows what that’s like. She faced some unexpected personal challenges before her first semester at Moore. At one point she wondered if she could even still attend the College. Moore gave her a grant so that she could complete her studies.
“It was really helpful that the College didn’t treat me like someone who couldn’t pay,” Proctor said. “They listened to my story and did what they could.”
Proctor began her college studies at the College of Southern Maryland, a community college ten minutes from her home in the tiny town of Pomfret. The location of the college was convenient and financially doable, but it didn’t offer an Interior Design major. Proctor decided to study Art History until she could transfer to another school.
She had heard good things about Moore’s Interior Design program. The College’s long history also appealed to her, as did the opportunity to minor in Textile Design.
“I liked the fact that the Interior Design program was taken seriously at Moore,” she said. “The major itself and the focus on getting a job stuck out to me as something special.”
The only artist in her family and the first to go to college and graduate, Proctor said she felt immediately at home at Moore because she was entering a community of artists. “I transferred in as a first year student, so I felt like I was starting this experience with everyone else,” she said. “I felt really welcome.”
While at Moore, Proctor was able to live in the dorms with a roommate instead of having to pay for an apartment while she completed her summer internship at the Philadelphia Design Center.
“It was really nice [of Moore] because I didn’t have any family in Philadelphia, so there was no way for me to stay in the city other than at the school,” she said.
The skills Proctor learned at her internship, coupled with the real-world advice from faculty members who were working artists and designers, led to her current job as a library manager at Hines & Company, a textile showroom in the Washington Design Center, where she has been working since graduation.
The Design Center consists of several different showrooms selling carpets, kitchen cabinetry, drapery and accessories. Proctor helps designers find fabric, wallpaper and trim samples for their products and communicates daily with vendors.
“Since I had interned at the Philadelphia Design Center, I knew to go to the Washington center, so I just handed them my resume and it all came together,” she said. “The best preparation for my job was my education at Moore and the speed of the classes. There was one project after another and a lot of deadlines.”
In her spare time, Proctor makes “teddy bears” out of recycled upholstery fabric and her own textile designs. They are called “Intergalactic Space Bears” and she originally created them to accompany her senior thesis project (a playground for children of all abilities).
“Transferring to art school, my parents were really concerned about my ability to get a job and whether it would even be in my major,” Proctor said. “I’m from a small town and a lot of people don’t know about interior design. To be working in my field is a huge turnaround. It paid off to go to Moore.”
Find Michon Proctor on Etsy to purchase her Intergalactic Space Bears under store name: ISBAS