Mair family creates Media X scholarship
The new Mair scholarships will support students who study performance in Pacific's Media X department.
Pacific's new digital media department, Media X, received a boost this winter with a generous gift from the family of former regent Jim Mair '68. The gift was established in memory of Mair's daughter, Meredith, who died unexpectedly in 2018.
Meredith Mair '94 had a love for theater that spanned her entire life.
"Even in high school, she was in plays and she was drawn to it," Jim Mair said. "It just came naturally to her."
Meredith majored in drama at Pacific and met her husband, Clint Fleener '94, in the theatre arts department. The Mair Family Foundation wanted to honor that passion with scholarships for students in theater and the performing arts.
The Mair family has a significant legacy at Pacific with multiple graduates from the university, including Jim, his wife Gretchen '68, and daughters Carolyn '97, the late Meredith, and their son-in-law Clint.
When fully realized, the Meredith Mair Scholars fund will provide four Media X students with $20,000 annual scholarships for four years. The first scholarship will be offered to an incoming freshman in fall 2019.
"It's a scholarship that will really help us grow the program and provide a wonderful experience to a student who may or may not have had that opportunity before," said Media X program director Kevin Pontuti. "So, it's incredibly beneficial to the program and Pacific."
Additional money is also set aside for experiential learning opportunities such as travel, film festivals and to bring industry speakers to the Stockton Campus. Media X develops storytellers for the future as Pacific's digital media department, but its roots are in the university's storied theater arts program. As theater is becoming more technically spectacular, Media X students are learning skills that will help them create in that space and communicate across boundaries.
"The scholarship isn't necessarily just for aspiring actors," Pontuti said. "It could also revolve around directing, technical theater and an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary theater practice."
Theater arts alumnus and Media X Advisory Board member Chris Schueler '78 said the gift extends Pacific's legacy in theater arts while supporting a cutting-edge program.
"To have four students be able to take advantage of that and increase their knowledge and education in storytelling through theater arts - and to have it here at Pacific - is just spectacular," he said.