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York Art Association establishes scholarship at York College in memory of Doris Cohen

September 15, 2016
Sunrise over the York College Spartan athletics complex

A York College scholarship has been established by the York Art Association in memory of Doris Cohen, a longtime member and friend of the Association.

The Doris Cohen/York Art Association Scholarship is open to full-time students majoring in Fine Art or Graphic Design at York College. Preference will be given to students who are York County residents. 

A native of New York City, Doris Ellman Cohen moved to Spring Garden Township in 1969 with her husband and four children, where she lived until her death in January of 2013.  She had a successful career with Met-Ed/GPU as a marketing representative. Prior to joining Met-Ed, she taught high school mathematics. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from City College of New York, a teaching certificate from Penn State University and an MBA from York College.

“My mother was an educated, well-traveled and sophisticated woman who valued and promoted education and art, and was active in community organizations like the League of Women Voters and The American Association of University Women,” said Carol Eicher, Cohen’s eldest child. Eicher, who also earned an MBA from York College, remembers her mother as a woman of many talents and a unique combination of left-brain objectivity and right-brain creativity.

“My mother’s degree in business together with a keen mind led to a successful career working with numbers. After many years of that, and after launching four children into successful lives and careers -- perhaps taking Einstein’s advice that ‘Creativity is contagious, pass it on’ -- she turned to art as a creative outlet. She took art classes to bring to life a latent natural talent and powerful desire to express herself. She found that self-expression, especially working in pastels. Today, portraits of her five grandchildren, beautifully executed with obvious love, have indeed been passed on as a vital part of her legacy to our family.”

Following her death in 2013, Cohen’s family chose to honor her memory with a generous gift to the Association to establish an annual award for excellence in pastels, as well as a scholarship fund to help a student of the arts at York College.

“Making art for a living is an extraordinary privilege, but it also takes extraordinary commitment to gain mastery in art,” said Ry Fryar, coordinator of York College’s Fine Art program and assistant professor of art. “The Doris Cohen/York Art Association Scholarship will encourage and support York County's most ambitious young artists as they master the skills, creativity, work ethic, and professionalism necessary for a visual art career.” 

The mission of the York Art Association is to encourage and develop interest in the visual arts; to provide opportunities for education through classroom instruction, workshops, lectures, and publications; to support interaction within the community and to provide a venue for members and non-members to exhibit their work in a gallery setting.

A private college located in southcentral Pennsylvania, York College offers more than 50 baccalaureate majors in professional programs, the sciences and humanities to its 4,400 undergraduate students. The College also offers master's programs in business, education and nursing, and a doctorate in nursing practice. York College students enjoy a high-quality education that emphasizes practical application and a community invested in their success. The College provides a personal plan to help students focus their passions and attain their goals so they are prepared for a lifetime of meaningful careers – ready to meet the challenges of their profession and feeling confident and proud of their achievements.