Scholarship Assistance- Carrott Memorial


Financial Aid D01171


Undergraduate Student Support

History and Purpose:

As an undergraduate student in the early 1970s, Ira Toibin wasn't exactly clamoring to take his first art history class, especially since he had a dual major in Economics and Urban Studies. "I took it as a breadth requirement," he said. "It was the only course left. So, it was completely by chance." But that class changed his life and gave him a new perspective on the world.

"Art history gave me a broader view of the world, an appreciation for things cultural. Had it not been for that experience, there would have been a big piece of my life that didn't develop," Toibin said. "It enriched my life."

But it was more than just the course itself that would leave an indelible mark on his life. The professor who taught the course, the late Dr. Richard Carrott, left such an impression on Toibin that he established a scholarship to honor Dr. Carrott.

And the scholarship is as unique as the namesake. It is awarded to students - three so far - who take art history classes but who are not majoring in art themselves. It was created by Toibin as an incentive for an undergraduate to take Art History as a breadth requirement. "I wanted somebody to have the same experience I did when I took Art History," he said. The introduction to Art History taught Toibin to appreciate and value art by making the subject interesting and by exposing students to guest lecturers Toibin described as "heavy hitters in the field."

"Dr. Carrott was a very unusual professor," Toibin explained. "He would bring in guest lecturers and invite everyone (including the 300-400 undergraduate students who filled the lecture hall for his classes) to his home afterwards to meet the speakers."

Toibin said he was amazed that only a handful of students would take advantage of the opportunities to meet world-renowned lecturers. The experiences were so interesting, Toibin said, he continued to take advantage of the professor's hospitality, which further infused his interest in art. "I started taking everything Dr. Carrott taught and ended up minoring in art!" he said. Toibin graduated from UCR with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Urban Planning in 1971. He received a Master's degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago before returning to earn a Ph.D. in education in 1984.

It is in the field of education that Toibin has spent his career, starting as a teacher in 1972 and retiring in 2006 as superintendent of schools for the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, one of the highest performing school districts in the nation.

Toibin says the appreciation and knowledge of art he gained as a student almost 30 years ago has left a permanent imprint on his life that has, to this day, never been erased. "Art history classes were probably the classes that stayed with me the most," he said. "To this day, I can go to art museums and recognize pieces of art that were part of my classes. How many courses have that kind of relevance to your life? I don't think my life would have been as rich as it ultimately became. I just wanted to give others the same opportunity."

Dr. Richard Carrott Memorial is a current-use fund through which UCR alumnus Dr. Ira Toibin provides UCR students in other majors with an annual award with the stipulation that the recipient take at least one art history course. Dr. Toibin hopes that exposure to the field of art history will enrich the lives and futures of these students. This scholarship honors the memory of Art History Professor Dr. Carrott and his contribution to UCR students whose lives he touched and transformed.

Selection and Guidelines:

Student must be already enrolled and with a major unrelated to Art History. Continuing UCR students may apply between December and March 2 using the Continuing Student Scholarship application. Further details are sent to undergraduates via Webmail in December.

Request for Information:

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