Passion, creativity, entrepreneurship and community. Those characteristics are being honored as the family of Kate Gielen-Cuddy, who passed away in June 2015 at age 58 after a battle with cancer, celebrate her legacy with the creation of two awards for Fanshawe’s Bachelor of Interior Design program.
Kate’s local roots run deep. Born and raised near London in the small hamlet of Crediton, she graduated from Fanshawe’s Interior Design program in 1979 and then the Parsons School of Design in New York. She returned to London to embark on what would be a rewarding entrepreneurial career. Kate’s business, Gielen Design, has been a source of inspired design in the downtown core for over 30 years.
“Kate brought passion, creativity and love to all of her projects,” said her partner Peter Cuddy in announcing the new awards. “She truly was a visionary who made amazing contributions to our local community.”
The new memorial awards will recognize two students who, like Kate, demonstrate academic drive, leadership and passion for interior design. Catherine Finlayson, Fanshawe’s Executive Director of Advancement and Alumni, says Kate’s family’s dedication to these awards supports the College’s ongoing pursuit of unlocking potential. “Kate’s spirit remains alive in her designs, and these awards will continue to inspire students and the industry she loved,” she said.
The first Kate Gielen Academic Awards will be presented this fall. Friends of Kate who are interested in contributing to her legacy are encouraged to contact the Fanshawe College Foundation at 519-452-4112.