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Eckerd College Mourns Passing of Co-Founding Visual Arts Faculty Member Margaret "Peg" Rigg

posted on 07/26/2011

It is with great sadness that the College mourns the death of Margaret "Peg" Rigg, Professor Emerita of Visual Arts and a co-founding faculty member of the Visual Arts discipline at Florida Presbyterian College (FPC)/Eckerd College.

Peg Rigg, 82, passed away, Saturday, July 16, 2011, from pneumonia after a serious fall in May. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held on Saturday, September 3, at 2:00 p.m. at the St. Petersburg Friends Meeting House at 130 19th Avenue SE, in St. Petersburg, Florida.

PAX by Eckerd Professor Margaret Peg Rigg

PAX by Margaret "Peg" Rigg (1983, cover of Eckerd College 2005 Holiday Card)

Click here to read the St. Petersburg Times article from July 23, 2011, "Former Eckerd art professor Peg Rigg was an artist of the unconventional"

"Peg Rigg was the quintessential professor at Eckerd College," said Donald R. Eastman III, President of Eckerd College. "An innovator in the arts and undergraduate education, a feminist and humanitarian in everyday life, Professor Rigg leaves an indelible mark on the College. When Peg was honored as the recipient of the John Satterfield Outstanding Mentor Award more than 40 years after she began her career here, we were mesmerized by the testimony of former students who celebrated Professor Rigg's positive and lasting influence in their lives. Her legacy will be long remembered and reflected in the College's enduring core values."

Peg Rigg was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied at Carnegie Mellon University and the Chicago Institute of Art. She graduated from Florida State University and received an M.A. from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education.

For the eleven years prior to her arrival at Eckerd, Professor Rigg served as Art Director for motive magazine, a progressive Methodist publication. While an editor for motive she became deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement, fought for social justice by putting herself on the line during civil rights demonstrations, and was once imprisoned for her beliefs. Her association with the civil rights organization Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF), along with Anne and Carl Braden, was longstanding and courageous.

Peg's work as a calligrapher was featured on two CBS special telecasts, I Need to Hear From You (1968), and Keep in Touch (1971). She was a Fulbright scholar in Korea in 1973, and has traveled extensively elsewhere, most particularly in Japan and Nicaragua. She had over 60 one-person exhibitions throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. An exhibition of her work was included in the 1987 Cultural Olympics in Seoul, Republic of Korea. She established the Possum Press, and designed and published three of her own books, as well as books by other authors.

In 1965, Professor Rigg joined Robert Hodgell and James Crane as a member of the College's Visual Arts Department. While at Eckerd, she founded the Women's Resources Center, which still flourishes today. She also inspired the concept of Autumn Term for first-year students, which continues to serve as the foundation of the College's mentoring program. Peg retired from Eckerd College in 1998 following 33 years of teaching. She was awarded The John Satterfield Outstanding Mentor Award at the College's 2008 Commencement.

In Memory of Margaret "Peg" Rigg
Peg Rigg is survived by hundreds of devoted friends all over the world, her cousin, Torrey Isaacs, and her family, and the incomparable dog, Cooper. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Peg's memory to the St. Petersburg Meeting of the Society of Friends or the Margaret Rigg Scholarship Fund at Eckerd College. To make a gift in Professor Peg Rigg's memory, send a check payable to 'Eckerd College' for the Margaret Rigg Scholarship Fund to the Office of Advancement, Eckerd College, 4200 54th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33711, or make a gift online at www.eckerd.edu/giving.

Click here to visit the Memorial Park Funeral Home for additional information and images

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