Friends Forum

This series of biographies of members of the Friends of the Snite Museum of Art is presented as an introduction to the Friends membership. Every few weeks, a different Friend will be featured. Get acquainted with:

How the Friends Christmas Benefit Dinner Supports Art Exploration and Our Community

“Christmas waves a magic wand over the world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

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For an organization to be flourishing four decades after its founding and continuing to work to serve the community in positive and impactful ways as originally intended is quite a feat. When the focus of the organization is art exploration, acquisition, and education, those forty years of work and success are an admirable accomplishment indeed.

On the occasion of the 40th Anniversary Christmas Benefit Dinner, which will be held on Thursday, December 2, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on our history and the impact of the Christmas Benefit Dinner on the Friends and on the Museum.

The Museum's Advisory Council decided in the late 1970s that a membership organization of the Museum should be established, for the purpose of supporting the Museum's educational programs, public events, and collecting activities. And so, in the fall of 1979, the Friends of the Snite Museum was founded.

Read more about the benefit dinner history.

Art + Education = Bill Tourtillotte


One of our newest members of the Friends of the Snite Board is William “Bill” Tourtillotte. Bill has been involved in the local art community for over thirty years. Together with his wife Julie, Chair of the Art Department at Saint Mary’s College, and their son Henry, the family maintains an eighteen-acre organic farm and an art studio near Potato Creek State Park.

Bill grew up in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. While still in high school, he started college at the Cleveland Institute of Art. As a condition of receiving his high school diploma, he was required to pass his freshman year of college, an experience he described both as a great opportunity as well as a challenging one. With his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree completed, Bill went directly to graduate school at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He met Julie at Cranbrook, and after they received their MFA degrees, they relocated to this area to work at Saint Mary’s College. Bill has taught at several institutions, including Saint Mary’s College, Holy Cross College, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame. Since 2015, he has been a Lecturer in the Fine Arts Department of the Raclin School for the Arts at Indiana University South Bend. His primary areas of interest and practice are printmaking and letterpress.

Read more about Bill

Grant Osborn

Grant Osborn

“Double Domer” Grant Osborn was born on Long Island, New York. His father, a policeman and detective, moved the family to New Hampshire upon his retirement. Grant attended Saint Johnsbury Academy in neighboring Vermont and, after high school, intended to enroll in the Air Force Academy. But, due to a broken collar bone, Grant opted not to defer college for a year and instead enrolled at the University of Notre Dame. He earned his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences with minors in English, and Film, Television, and Theater. He then continued his education at the University with a Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Read more about Grant.

Susan Farrington

Susan Farrington—called Susie by her friends—is the President-elect of the Friends of the Snite Museum Board of Directors.

Susie beside a favorite pair of vases in the Decorative Arts Gallery.

Born in South Korea, Susie was six years old when her family relocated to the United States so that her father could accept a teaching position at Columbia University Law School in New York City. Although Susie describes her childhood family as holding tight reins on activities and behavior, she was allowed the freedom to explore the city unaccompanied. She started riding the Manhattan subway on her own at age eleven. Her destinations were often such iconic museums as the Museum of Modern Art and The Guggenheim and, due to those experiences, Susie considers herself a lifelong museum-hopper.

Read more about Susie

Retiring Director, Ann Dean

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Ann and Fred Dean at the 2017 Christmas Benefit.

Friends of the Snite Museum Board Member Ann Dean grew up in South Bend, Indiana. She and her husband, Dr. Frederick Dean, a native of Peoria, Illinois, have made their home in the South Bend area for many years and raised their three children. Now retired, Ann and Fred split their time between a home in Florida and a home on Diamond Lake in Michigan. Their three children have spread out geographically and now reside in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Colorado. 

Ann attended Central High School in South Bend and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer Science from Ball State University and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Indiana University. She taught Home Economics at Adams High School and later worked in the radiology department at Memorial Hospital, where she met Fred Dean. Read more about Ann

Check back regularly and get to know some new Friends!