Mimi’s daughter, Liz Aplin (pictured on right), a beloved Baylor art teacher for 12 years.
Her Gift: Support of the Liz Aplin Memorial Fund, which gives students the opportunity to study art in Florence, Italy, or Yellowstone National Park. The fund was established in memory of her daughter, a Baylor art teacher who died in 2000.
How did the fund come about?
After she died, Liz’s friends met at Baylor to discuss what would be a good memorial for her. Liz’s son, Ben, Mary Moore, Ellen and Chris Moore ’68, Margie Oehmig — they were all behind this. They wanted to do something, and they wanted to be sure that it was in keeping with the way Liz was. They certainly chose the thing she would love most. Liz started an art and travel program at Baylor when she took a bunch of students to Florence. There was no formal program then. She just rented an apartment in Florence on her own, and she and Cessna Decosimo got the kids enrolled in the Florence Academy. The best thing to do was continue it. After the group met, they got the fund off the ground, and it’s been an amazing thing.
What was your role in establishing this fund?
I am one of the donors to the fund, but it was a group effort. At each of the Baylor auctions, they have auctioned one of her paintings, and that money has gone to the fund. Proceeds from sales of students’ paintings at the auction go to the fund as well. It is fabulous for everyone at the auction to see the kind of work these students do.
How have students responded to the program?
It’s not just the A students who are selected for this program. Students just need to show a real interest in art, and that would please my daughter, who was always a champion of the ones who had to struggle. A lot of people say that Liz is the best teacher they ever had. The children who have gone have found that it has transformed their lives. After the trip, they give us a report on what they’ve done. There is a huge change in them, and you can see that it was a marvelous experience. The fund was a wonderful thing to do in her memory. I don’t know of any school that offers this. It is one of the best things students can do.
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