Bridging the Gap

Regina and Ace Torre Scholarship recipients Neha Jain (Interior Design), Tyler Detiveaux (Architecture), Kathryn Boutte (Landscape Architecture) and Zach McLaine (Architecture). Photo by Andrea Laborde Barbier.
Regina and Ace Torre Scholarship recipients Neha Jain (Interior Design), Tyler Detiveaux (Architecture), Kathryn Boutte (Landscape Architecture) and Zach McLaine (Architecture). Photo by Andrea Laborde Barbier.

Given its attention-grabbing research and academics, significant military history, and formidable athletics, LSU has never been a stranger to excellence. Scholarships are essential pieces of the university’s incomparable puzzle.

This school year, the College of Art + Design hosted its first annual scholarship reception to thank donors and honor the achievements of its dedicated students. Ace Torre and his wife, Regina, are ensuring their scholarship recipients experience all the college has to offer.

What began as an architectural engineering program in 1933 has evolved into an exceptional college, one of the few institutions that offer the same four disciplines as legendary German art school Bauhaus. Torre asserts that an understanding of each discipline is necessary in the “real world.”

“Any time you go out to do any large project, you’re going to be involved with all the other disciplines,” Torre explained. “With each discipline, there’s a different language, a different mentality and outlook on how things fit together. So, the broader the base of the individual, the greater the aspect of understanding and coordinating all those disciplines.”

The 1971 landscape architecture alumnus studied for two years at the American Academy in Rome, after receiving the Rome Prize in 1974. The highly selective fellowship is awarded annually to emerging artists and scholars from 11 art and history disciplines. He shared that his Italian experience made him realize both the design and the technical benefits of interdisciplinary thinking.

A 2014-15 LSU Art+Design scholarship recipient. Photo by Andrea Laborde Barbier.
A 2014-15 LSU Art+Design scholarship recipient. Photo by Andrea Laborde Barbier.

Torre, owner of Torre Design Consortium in New Orleans, believes so strongly in the idea of a well-rounded education that he created a scholarship in each of the college’s disciplines—architecture, art, landscape architecture and interior design—to promote interdisciplinary study.

The scholarships provide a way to “reward bright young talent looking to reach out to the other disciplines” while offering financial assistance. Torre explained that, while his tuition was just $65 each semester, many students today struggle to afford higher education. “It was trying to take those who worked hard, who reached out to the other disciplines but had an economic need, as well, to help.”

Five similarly minded students received the Regina and Ace Torre Scholarship—in their respective disciplines—at the September reception. Torre shared that he hopes the interdisciplinary mindset required for the scholarships will help develop and encourage better professionals, with higher levels of work, to create better products.

“It was logical for me to promote that,” Torre said, reiterating, “It’s an amazing thing that LSU has all of those four disciplines in one college.”

 

Published in Cornerstone Winter and Spring 2015.

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