Koste/McDaniel Endowed Scholarship Fundraiser
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Students:
Please help me celebrate 40 years at EMU!
I can think of no more satisfying way to celebrate retirement after 40 years at EMU than to invite those who celebrate with me to help endow the Koste/McDaniel Scholarship. Virginia Glasgow Koste and Thelma McDaniel, the first faculty in what is now called the Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young program (ADTY), had a profound impact on my life and on the lives of their students and colleagues. My 40 years at EMU would never have happened without them!
Perhaps you did not know either Thelma or Jinny, but I assure you, EMU was forever changed by their presence here. In addition to their students, those faculty who followed Koste and McDaniel: the late Karen Smith-Meyer, Jessica “Decky” Alexander, Christine Tanner, many wonderful lecturers and I have benefited immeasurably from the rich soil they prepared for us.
I met Jinny Koste in the late 1970s, when I was a graduate student at Florida State University. The ideas she shared with me transformed my understanding of theatre and ignited in me a passion that has carried me throughout my career. I know that I am not alone in that experience!
Koste was nationally and internationally respected as a force in our discipline. When she came to EMU in 1962-63, she laid the groundwork for a program that celebrates and continues her legacy today. For more on her amazing work, please see this wonderful presentation created by alumna Meriah Sage.
Those who were fortunate enough to work with Thelma McDaniel will always remember her wonderful laugh, which filled the halls of Quirk and lifted the spirits of her colleagues. She inaugurated EMU Theatre of the Young’s touring program in 1968, sending out pioneering work for young audiences in the form known as story theatre. The touring program she began has continued its community outreach yearly to the present day and has toured to hundreds of thousands of area schoolchildren.
Thelma was also a pioneer in the area of drama for persons with special needs. She was a charter member of the now long-established Drama Therapy Association, and while at EMU, she did early research on the therapeutic benefits of drama for adults with cognitive impairments. Nationally-recognized for her many contributions to her field, she received the prestigious Creative Drama for Human Awareness award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education in 1988.
To my great sadness, we lost our beloved Thelma McDaniel the same week that I retired. Since her passing, tributes have poured in from her former students:
She was the single, most important influence on my life and career. Her kindness and guidance lit the way for me.
Thelma McDaniel was kind, patient, intuitive, and a loving portal to the future for so many of her students.
So many memories of how she influenced this whole world of students. That smile, that deep laugh of joy, how she believed in me! How she loved you. How she made an impact in her own way and style. I just wanted to be in her space and listen to her stories. We have been blessed to work with the best!
I have, indeed, been blessed to work with the best. Thank you for supporting the legacy that these two wonderful scholar/artists began at EMU! Thank you for helping to ensure that new generations of students in their field will know the support and encouragement for intellectual curiosity, artistry and community engagement that these two began at EMU.
Patricia Moore Zimmer