Spalding University renames
school of writing following
historic gift from alumna

Following a historic donation, Spalding University has renamed its graduate school of writing to honor the women who founded it.

The new Sena Jeter Naslund-Karen Mann Graduate School of Writing is the recipient of a $1 million gift from alumna Cindy Brady, a 2013 graduate of the program. The donation is one of the largest from an individual donor in the university’s history, according to a release from the school.

Sena Jeter Naslund and Karen Mann founded Kentucky’s first Master of Fine Arts in writing program at Spalding University 20 years ago. According to a release from the university, the donation will “support Spalding’s graduate writing programs, including the low-residency MFA, which is nationally recognized as a top-tier program and is noted for its emphasis on cross-genre study and interrelatedness-of-the-arts exploration.”

Kathleen Driskell, chair of the school of writing, was “wowed by” the gift that recognizes the importance of the creative community, the release said.

The school of writing was established in 2017 under Driskell’s leadership and includes the flagship MFA, a terminal degree, as well as a one-semester graduate certificate in writing and a Master of Arts in writing. The programs use a low-residency model in which each semester starts with a week of residency in Louisville or abroad and is followed by independent study, during which students work one-on-one with a faculty mentor.

Spalding University was established in 1814 and has been located in downtown Louisville since 1920. The historic, private, Catholic institution offers bachelors, masters and doctoral programs.

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