Letter From the President


Since 1989, The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education has given a total of $995,000 to support lighting design education.  We have given $710,000 to colleges and universities to develop and expand lighting design education, $150,000 to individuals to improve their ability to teach lighting and $135,000 to students to reward their outstanding performance in an academic lighting design program.

Our financial contributors are responsible for our success and deserve our thanks.  Over the past year we have received significant donations from B-K Lighting and TEKA Illumination, Enterprise Lighting Sales, The Designers Lighting Forum of New York, International Lights Inc., the Jonas Bellovin Memorial Foundation, Lighting Design Alliance, and The New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society.  Significant donations deserve special recognition, but we are grateful for every contribution we receive from individuals, design firms and organizations.  Every donation makes a real difference in allowing us to continue our grant and award programs.

While I’m thanking people, I would also like to thank our Fund’s Board of Directors.  Kathy Ankerson, Dan Blitzer, Carol Caughey, Bob Davis, Paul Gregory, Ann Hardeman, Barbara Horton, Diarmuid McSweeney, Jim Panichella, Glenn Shrum and Lee Waldron give their time and energy, without financial remuneration, to guide the Fund towards its goal of improving lighting design education.    

The Fund’s accomplishments in recent years include our redesigned website which has become a repository of information and teaching materials that can be used by anyone anywhere to learn about and to teach lighting.  Check us out at www.nuckollsfund.org.  

And our electronic database of lighting educators allows us to communicate with them directly and encourage them to use the educational resources we offer on our website as well as to apply for our grant programs.  Please remember that all of this is available to anyone for free.  

This year we gave two $20,000 Lesley Wheel Introductory Lighting Program grants and four $5,000 student awards.  I would like to point out that the Lesley Wheel Introductory Lighting Program Grant is specifically to fund a lighting course in a university that does not presently have any existing lighting courses.  Lesley was always eager to start something new in lighting design education and thus we have named this grant in her memory.       

The first $20,000 Lesley Wheel Introductory Lighting Program Grant was awarded to The University of Idaho.  Dr. Leyla Sanati will be the principal investigator in the development and delivery of a new course in lighting in the College of Art and Architecture.  The course will also be made available to students enrolled in their Interior Design Program.  

The second $20,000 Lesley Wheel Introductory Lighting Program Grant was awarded to Philadelphia University.  Professor James Doerfler, Associate Professor Lyn Godley, Assistant Professor Matthew Gindlesparger and Associate Professor Lauren Baumbach will be the faculty to first develop a new course called “Lighting Design”.  This course will be the first of four courses that will create an undergraduate Lighting minor and a graduate Lighting concentration across two colleges at the university.  This interdisciplinary effort will involve the three disciplines of architecture, industrial design and interior design.  

Our four student awards are meant as a reward to a student who has demonstrated outstanding performance in an established lighting program.  They are the future of lighting design.

This year, The Nuckolls Fund awarded the $5,000 Jonas Bellovin Scholar Achievement Award to Jeffrey Mundinger from Penn State University.  Mr. Mundinger is a graduate student in the Architectural Engineering Program.  He plans to use his award for part of his tuition helping him to stay at Penn State to complete his Ph.D. degree.    

The $5,000 Jules Horton International Student Achievement Award was given to Thomas Mnich from Parsons The New School for Design.  Mr. Mnich, who comes from Germany, intends to use his award to help pay some of his student loans, and for educational training by Microdesk to strengthen his software skills.  

One $5,000 Designers Lighting Forum of New York Student Achievement Award was given to Rohan Nagare from RPI’s Lighting Research Center.  Mr. Nagare intends to use his award to help with his ongoing tuition costs while he continues his education at RPI.  

A second $5,000 Designers Lighting Forum of New York Student Achievement Award was given Ms. Shelby White from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Ms. White says this award will allow her to get more involved with her research and be more thorough allowing her to commit herself to her thesis.    

All the 2016 grants and awards were given at our annual luncheon at LIGHTFAIR International which was in San Diego this year.  At that luncheon Glenn Shrum was our speaker and I want to thank him for his exciting look into what might be the future of lighting design education.

The Nuckolls Fund continues to search for creativity, diversity and innovative approaches to lighting education and our goal continues to be the development and expansion of programs in lighting education.  With your continued financial support, we are able to pursue that ongoing mission.  Please make your donation today.

Jeffrey A. Milham