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University at Buffalo faculty couple makes $1 million pledge

A pair of University at Buffalo professors has pledged a $1 million bequest to fund scholarships for UB students in the creative and performing arts.

The married couple, Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson, made the pledge in support of the Creative Arts Initiative, or CAI, a new UB program that brings world-class creative and performing artists to the university for on-campus residencies.

Both Christian and Jackson are SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professors. Jackson is co-director of CAI.

The scholarship awards are named in honor of their mothers: the Julia Jackson Scholarship in the Creative and Performing Arts and the Ruth Christian Graduate Fellowship in the Arts.

Jackson began teaching at UB in 1967 and Christian in 1970. The couple has co-written several books, and together they produced and directed a film documentary, “Death Row,” used by the late French President Francois Mitterand during his 1980s campaign to end the death penalty in France. They also created and host Buffalo Film Seminars.