Jack Curfman was an internationally recognized exhibition designer and interior design professor with a successful career of 51 years at Colorado State University. Curfman designed and created hundreds of exhibitions at CSU. The Curfman Gallery in the Lory Student Center is named in his honor. Curfman sadly passed away on March 24, 2020, at the age of 95, beloved by many for his kindness, generosity, and commitment to making the world a better place. It is fitting that Curfman left funds to CSU through an estate gift to help support the scholarship and the gallery in his name.
The Jack Curfman Creative and Visual Scholarship was created by Curfman, his colleagues, and his friends upon his retirement. This scholarship benefits outstanding students in apparel design, interior design, graphic design, or theater design and technology who show creative promise in design work.
“Jack Curfman was not only a gifted artist and teacher, he was one of the kindest, caring individuals I have ever known,” said Victoria Keller, director of development for CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. “He led with heart and soul, and had a genuine affection for students. Jack graced many lives and I am so grateful to have known him and to honor and record his story as part of the college’s Legacies Project.”
Recipient for the 2020-2021 academic year
This year, the Curfman scholarship was awarded to apparel design and production senior Aaron Clausen. Clausen wants to pursue a career in designing women’s evening wear and couture. He plans to accomplish his dream of someday creating his own brand and clothing line. With his passion to make women feel powerful in his own creations, he was rewarded for his hard work and determination.
Clausen chose CSU because of the proximity to his hometown of Denver.
“It has been the best decision I could have possibly made. I came to CSU thinking about pursuing nutrition and human sciences; however, when I discovered the apparel and merchandising major that lived just above nutrition on the third floor in Gifford, I knew that that was what I wanted to do with my life,” said Clausen.
Help from faculty
With the help from the Department of Design and Merchandising, Clausen has been able to feel supported to reach his dream career.
“Having such a supportive faculty at CSU, I have been able to expand my creativity and grow closer to making my career goals a reality. Specifically, my instructor, Kevin Kissell, has been a huge support in my desire for a career in fashion. Constantly being pushed to break my boundaries in design is exactly what he does for me. He knows my potential and wants the best for us as students studying apparel design,” said Clausen.
Filled with gratitude
Receiving the Jack Curfman scholarship has filled Clausen with gratitude and alleviated some financial stress.
“The Curfman scholarship has supported me and allowed me to finish out my career here at Colorado State ready to take on the world,” said Clausen. “Especially during this pandemic, having been awarded this scholarship has given me reassurance about my abilities in design and has also given me the drive to finish my degree stronger than ever. I couldn’t be any more grateful for this opportunity. This scholarship has motivated me into expanding my creativity and has strengthened my passion for design and fashion,” he said.
A board of sketched designs for Aaron Clausen’s senior collection.
Advice for future applicants
“Be yourself and don’t be intimidated to apply for scholarships. You never know how your story will impact someone else. Everybody has a different and unique story; all you have to do is just tell it,” said Clausen.
Gifts in memory of Curfman to the Jack Curfman Creative and Visual Design Scholarship or the Curfman Art Exhibition Program in the Curfman Gallery can be made on Curfman’s online giving page.