University of Louisville faculty and staff have played a significant role in the success of the Charting Our Course comprehensive campaign, contributing more than $27 million to the billion-dollar effort. (See Keith Inman’s letter to the campus community.) This is the second in a series of profiles of UofL faculty and staff, the areas they chose to support and their reasons for giving back to the university.

Cynthia Bronner and Judith Hake

Cynthia Bronner and Judith Hake have worked together with the University of Louisville Dance Academy in the School of Music for more than three decades. Bronner is co-director and a teacher in the program, while Hake recently retired from the academy and continues to work as a temporary program assistant.

Program donated to:  UofL Dance Academy

Reasons for giving to this program:  Hake: I believe strongly in youth arts programs, specifically dance, and the university funding is not enough to support this program.  Private donations are crucial to the success of the program. I have been fortunate enough to be able to help for a few years.

Your history/involvement with this organization:  Hake:  I’ve been with the Dance Academy since 1973.  Bronner: I have been teaching for the UofL Dance Academy for 34 years and have been co-directing it for 18 years.

Why you feel it’s important to give back to the university:  Bronner: I feel it is important to give to the arts, especially arts programs affiliated with a university. The arts are undervalued by society and most educational institutions. This is very short sighted and is not consistent with most educational research.

What people should know about the program:  Bronner: The UofL Dance Academy has students that have done summer training at some of the finest ballet schools in the world. We also have students who have danced for some of the best ballet companies in the world. … We are a self- supporting program within the School of Music. We are constantly struggling financially because we are tuition-driven and rely on private donations. We are a vulnerable program. What we do is important and should be acknowledged as such. It is so important that I donate annually to the program.