New Rochelle, NY (March 18, 2015) Iona College will name its Arts Center dance studio in honor of the late Professor Catherine Mapp. The recognition is thanks in part to the philanthropic giving of Joseph M. Murphy '59, '83 and JoAnn Mazzella Murphy '98H. Mrs. Murphy, a trustee of the College, also chairs the Iona College Council on the Arts.
Professor Mapp, who passed away in late December, was the founder, curator and director of the Iona College Dance Ensemble. She served for almost 30 years on the College faculty. A memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday, March 24, at 3:30 p.m. in the Arrigoni Center on campus. At the conclusion of the service, a reception and dedication will take place in the newly named Catherine Mapp Dance Studio.
“Catherine changed the culture of Iona College and immeasurably added to the sense of culture and arts in New Rochelle and Westchester County, in addition to her contributions to the field of dance more broadly,” said Mrs. Murphy. “This is the least we can do to honor her memory and contributions to our students and the Iona community.”
Iona President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., said, “Professor Mapp’s contributions to Iona and our students were extraordinary. We're grateful for the continued support from Joe and JoAnn Murphy, which led to the naming of the Catherine Mapp Dance Studio.”
Professor Mapp’s career in dance performance and choreography included featured solo performances throughout the USA as well as membership in many New York City dance companies. Her choreographic works have been presented in the Downtown/NYC Arts Festival at Gallery Henoch and Joyce Soho, 550 Broadway Festival, and Carnegie Recital Hall, among other venues.
At Iona, Professor Mapp created over 37 choreographic works for performances of student artist dancers both at the College and at community venues. She created the innovative Art at Noon and Art after Noon Series of Performance Events and produced recitals by numerous guest artists at these and other concerts.
“This is the most fitting tribute that can be bestowed upon our beloved colleague,” said Professor Thomas Donnarumma, who chairs Iona’s department of Fine and Performing Arts. “As Catherine Mapp created the dance program and built a foundation that educated generations of students in the value, the power and the beauty that dance could offer the world, having a lasting memorial that recognizes her invaluable contributions is truly a remarkable recognition that reflects her remarkable achievements.”
As FPA Chairperson from 2006-2013, she designed the FPA Minor Programs with concentration in dance, music, theatre and visual arts and promoted the development of varied course offerings in these same areas -- each with a focus on expanding student awareness and knowledge of the intellectual, cultural and moral history of the human experience as realized in aesthetic, creative expression.
Professor Mapp was the co-author of the initial document for the International Baccalaureate Curricula in dance and was honored with the Hugh J. McCabe Memorial Award for Social Justice for her outstanding Performers for Peace Series on Diversity -- “Unique Voices, Common Language.”
About Iona College:
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. It is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. Iona College is the second largest private sector employer in New Rochelle, N.Y.