Dr. Patricia “Gussie” Klorer Makes a Generous Gift of $25,000

“My mission is to make the program accessible to those that would not otherwise have the opportunity.”–Dr. Patricia “Gussie” Klorer

P. Gussie Klorer, PhD, HLM, ATR-BC, LCSW, LCPC

A generous gift was made by Dr. Patricia “Gussie” Klorer who retired last year from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Art Therapy Department. Klorer was the first director of the graduate Art Therapy Counseling program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In late September, she made an endowment of $25,000 for the Art Therapy Founders Scholarship in support of students pursuing Art Therapy.

“I really want to convey the idea that paying it forward is a responsibility. Just about every student in our program received some sort of financial aid through a graduate assistantship or scholarship. My hope is that the endowment will grow through alumni donations so that we can give out even more scholarship money each year,” stated Klorer.

Klorer represents a strong heritage of the art counseling program at SIUE. Prior to establishment of a degree program, she was one of the first Art Therapy lecturers at the University, laying much of the foundation that others have since built upon. “I love the field of art therapy and being able to share that with students has meant a lot to me, Klorer said. “I think teaching is a great gift––to help students meet their visions for themselves and to help people with art. I feel fortunate to be an art therapist and to be able to teach what I love.”

As a public university, SIUE provides some of the most accessible programs in the country, making it a valuable asset to the state and nation. “Most art therapy programs are at private schools. When we help students with scholarships we are really valuing students that may not otherwise have an opportunity to go to graduate school,” noted Klorer. “There is one thing that I hope will happen with this endowment––­­I hope that our alums will also contribute to it. When you get your first job, pay it forward. Help out the next group of students.”

Throughout her career, Gussie has been a prolific contributor and active member of her community. She is author of Expressive Therapy with Traumatized Children  and numerous other publications, was named an Honorary Life Member of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), operated a community arts post during her sabbatical, exhibited artwork at the Missouri History Museums Library in St. Louis, among numerous other activities.

“Gussie has created a long legacy––hundreds of students have graduated and are working in the field within the metro area and beyond,” said Megan Robb, Associate Professor in Art Therapy Counseling and Director of the Art Therapy Counseling Graduate Program. Robb, who was mentored by Gussie, spoke extensively of her compassion for others and desire to give back to the community. Her gift will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on campus.

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