OLD LYME — Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, one of the University of New Haven’s six colleges, has received a $1.1 million gift from the estate of Diana Atwood Johnson, a longtime benefactor, the university announced.
The gift will support three initiatives:
The Sill House, a historic building encompassing studio space, the Lyme Academy archives, and the Sill House Gallery, will receive $500,000.
An additional $500,000 will go toward scholarships that benefit minority students.
The remaining $100,000 will support the Diana Atwood Johnson Leadership Award, presented annually to a senior at Lyme Academy who shows great promise and exemplifies the values of the institution.
Atwood Johnson, who died in January, served on Lyme Academy’s board of trustees.
As chairwoman, she was the driving force to help Lyme Academy earn its initial accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and played a key role in initiating the affiliation that made the college the University of New Haven’s fifth college.
The rest of the University of New Haven is located in West Haven and Orange, with the main campus in West Haven.
“Diana Atwood Johnson was a pillar in our community and involved in every element of Lyme over the past three decades,” said Todd Jokl, dean of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.
“Her generosity over those decades in both her leadership and her generous financial contributions will enable us to provide support for our diverse student body, attract the strongest art students to Lyme, and continue to support our campus buildings,” Jokl said.
“Most of all, Diana leaves a legacy that will remain a strong part of this institution in perpetuity,” he said.
In addition to this donation, Lyme Academy has received nearly $3 million in gifts in the past five months as part of its capital campaign.