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Profiles in Giving

Kenneth Aidekman

The Inspiration

"My belief is that any university worth its salt needs to have great art," says Kenneth Aidekman, A75, co-chair of the Tufts University Art Gallery Advisory Board. "The experience of being around art, on campus, every day, as a student over the course of four years, impacts who you are and become for the rest of your life. It is incredibly enriching.

"Art is transformative. It really matters. It really changes how you see the world and how you interact with it. The work I do on behalf of the art center at Tufts University makes me feel really good, every single day."

The Aidekman name is synonymous with the visual arts at Tufts. Ken Aidekmanís parents, Shirley and the late Alex Aidekman, made the naming gift for the Aidekman Art Center, which opened in 1991 and houses the Tufts University Art Gallery and the Marston Balch Arena Theater.

The Tufts University Art Gallery animates the intellectual life of the greater university community through exhibitions and programs exploring new, global perspectives on art and on art discourse. Aidekman says he couldn't be more pleased over what he sees as a "renaissance of art appreciation" on campus. "I am thrilled at what [gallery curator] Amy Schlegel has done. I want to get the word out to others: if you haven't been back to campus and seen the Art Center, please come and visit."

The Gift

Ken Aidekman recently gave $100,000 to establish a fund supporting the Tufts University Art Gallery and the University Permanent Art Collection.

The Impact

The Kenneth Aidekman Family Fund will enhance the art gallery's capacity to attract as well as create art exhibitions of the highest caliber. The fund also supports the display of works from the permanent collection and other efforts through the visual arts to enhance the student experience. "By making this gift I'm hoping others will follow the example and support the arts," says Aidekman, of Short Hills, N.J., co-founder and vice-president of Highview Capital.