Legacy Awards

Each year the College of Fine and Applied Arts honors both past legacies and emerging voices in the arts by recognizing our alumni and friends who have impacted their fields in transformative ways. This year we celebrate the following individuals and their invaluable passion and service to the arts.

Emerging Legacy Award

Recognizes FAA alumni early in their careers who have made outstanding professional contributions to their field since graduating.

Sarah Bassett

Sarah M. Bassett

Sarah M. Bassett (MUP ’13 Urban Planning)

Sarah M. Bassett, recipient of the Emerging Legacy Award, is an urban planner working on alternative approaches to the multiscale planning challenges of community resilience, spatial (in)justice, climate change, and technological determinism. Her work is in partnership with communities, governments, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, developers, and academic institutions advancing inclusive and future-looking sustainability efforts domestically and internationally.

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Sarah Bassett
Juri Seo

Juri Seo

Juri Seo (DMA ’13 Music)

Juri Seo, recipient of the Emerging Legacy Award, is a Korean American composer and pianist based in Princeton, New Jersey. She seeks to write music that encompasses extreme contrast through compositions that are unified and fluid, yet complex. She merges many of the fascinating aspects of music from the past century—in particular, its expanded timbral palette and unorthodox approach to structure—with a deep love of functional tonality, counterpoint, and classical form.

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Juri Seo

Distinguished Legacy Award

Awarded to FAA alumni who have attained outstanding success and national or international distinction in their chosen profession or life’s work and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on, or bring honor to, the College of Fine and Applied Arts and the University of Illinois.

Catherine M. Bleck

Catherine M. Bleck

Catherine M. Bleck (BFA ’78 Graphic Design)

Catherine M. Bleck, recipient of the Distinguished Legacy Award, migrated from her early career as a graphic designer at the Chicago Tribune to one as an internationally respected visual artist. Bleck’s illustration career spans over 40 years, and in 2006 on publishing her monograph Open Spaces she launched her studio artwork into the gallery and museum world.

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Catherine M. Bleck
Dina Griffin

Dina Griffin

Dina Griffin (BSAS ’86 Architecture)

Recipient of the Distinguished Legacy Award and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects since 2018, Dina Griffin, FAIA, NOMA, IIDA, has over 25 years of experience in the practice of architecture. She is currently the president of Interactive Design Architects (IDEA), a Chicago-based firm that has collaborated on prestigious projects such as the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Barack Obama Presidential Center.

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Dina Griffin
Ralph Johnson

Ralph Johnson

Ralph Johnson (BArch ’71 Architecture)

Ralph E. Johnson FAIA, LEED AP, and recipient of the Distinguished Legacy Award, received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Illinois and his Master of Architecture from Harvard University. He began his career at Stanley Tigerman’s office and in 1976 joined Perkins and Will, where he currently serves as its Global Design Director and is a member of its board of directors.

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Ralph Johnson

Illinois Arts Legacy Award

Recognizes volunteers, staff, loyal performers, affiliated artists, etc. who are not necessarily graduates of FAA but whose contributions have made a significant impact in the arts at Illinois.

Daniel Perrino

Daniel J. Perrino

Daniel J. Perrino (BME ’48 Music Education, MS ’49 Music)

Recipient of the Illinois Arts Legacy Award, Daniel J. Perrino’s consummate artistic and administrative skill melded with his love for the arts, for the University of Illinois, and for humanity created a profound and lasting impact on this campus and on generations of students and alumni past, present, and future.

Read full bio here.

Daniel Perrino
Shozo Sato

Shozo Sato

Shozo Sato

The impact of Shozo Sato’s great legacy has been felt for more than 50 years in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, on campus, across the greater Champaign-Urbana community, nationally, and internationally. Sato, recipient of the Illinois Arts Legacy Award, is a master of the highest order of Japanese tea ceremony, flower arranging, and black ink painting. Generations of students know Shozo Sato as Sensei, and to this day he teaches and inspires though classes at Japan House.

Read full bio here.

Shozo Sato
John Charles Wustman

John Charles Wustman

John Charles Wustman

John Charles Wustman was born in Byron Center, Michigan, and studied music at the University of Michigan with John Kollen and in New York with Leonard Shure. He was a pianist for the rehearsals of the American Opera Society’s presentation of Vincenzo Bellini’s II Pirata that occurred in Carnegie Hall in 1959 and would later serve as a member of the jury at the Fourth International Tschaikovsky Competition in Moscow with Maria Callas.

Read the full bio here.

John Charles Wustman
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