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News . Feature Stories . Professor's Legacy Lives On


January 28, 2013

Professor's Legacy Lives On

CIA Creates Charles Lang Bergengren Memorial Film Fund

Professor's Legacy Lives On

Professor Charles Bergengren’s legacy lives on in his former students, many of whom can still hear his booming voice urging them to look beneath the surface, find the hidden stories, and “read something irrelevant every day.”

In a more tangible way, the late liberal arts professor’s legacy lives on through the gift of a life insurance policy he left to CIA. Planning ahead, he had named CIA the beneficiary.

“Many people have life insurance policies that they no longer need, sometimes because their children have grown up, sometimes because they simply have more coverage than will be necessary to meet final expenses,” said Margaret Ann Gudbranson, CIA’s director of major gifts and planned giving. “Naming CIA as the beneficiary of a plan you no longer need, as Charlie did, is a very easy way to provide support for the college beyond your lifetime.”

Over a 20 year career at CIA Bergengren, who died suddenly in July at age 64, taught courses including Cultural History Survey, Folk Art, Minority Art, Outsider Art, American (Vernacular) Architecture, and various courses in avant garde film. He attended the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque religiously. Honoring this, the college used his gift to endow the Charles Lang Bergengren Memorial Film Fund. Cinematheque Director John Ewing will use the annual income from this fund to show films and occasionally bring in a filmmaker or cast member to speak to audiences.

“Charlie totally got the connection between film and the visual arts—namely that film is a visual art,” said a grateful Ewing. “We miss Charlie but his gift will assure that he remains a presence at the Cinematheque for years to come.”

CIA President Grafton Nunes said he hopes Bergengren would have been pleased with the designation. “It’s enormously gratifying that this extraordinary man thought highly enough of CIA to plan such a gift,” Nunes said. “He loved CIA and he loved the Cinematheque. What better way to honor him?”

To add to the Charles Lang Bergengren Memorial Film Fund with a gift in Bergengren’s memory, email Margaret Ann Gudbranson or call her at 216-421-8016.

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