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Alumni and Friends Making an Impact

The Art of Giving

Beth Doyle ’89 comes from a long line of strong, creative women who refused to limit what they achieved in life based on what others thought, and they encouraged their daughters to live just as boldly. To honor them — and to inspire some creative Flyers, too — Beth set up the Coye Family Scholarship for Diversity in the Arts at the University of Dayton.

“I’m honored to be in this long line of Coye women who broke barriers,” said Beth. “Many of them went against the societal norms of the time to get an education, to become businesswomen, to employ people.”

Her mother, the Rev. Marylyn Coye Harrett Doyle, shared how Beth’s great-great-grandmother had been a businesswoman and contractor, and her grandmother ran a business and taught at a community college. Marylyn was also an adjunct professor and member of the clergy, and is a silk and metal thread artist.

The Coye Family Scholarship will help diverse artists pursue their passions and break their own barriers by relieving some of the financial burdens that young artists face.

“I remember being an art student and not being able to afford paper, paints and photography supplies,” Beth said. “I hope that the scholarship provides some financial relief so the students can spend more time creating and less time worrying about how to fund their passion.”

Beth earned her degree in photography and minored in studio arts at UD, and then earned her master’s in library and information sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. After a stint with Harvard University as conservator for special projects, she took a position at Duke University, where she is the head of the Conservation Services Department.

“During my junior year at UD, I fell in love with bookbinding and the process of making books,” said Beth. “Alice Schmidt, who was teaching these classes to art students at the library, told me, ‘You should really look at conservation as a profession,’ and that was really exciting for me because, in addition to creating, I was interested in books, printing, history and art history.”

Now, her career has merged all of those interests, and she’s in a place where she can make an impact for current UD students in Art and Design. This is important because Beth knows that vying for a vocation in the arts can come with added pressures and obstacles. 

“Every parent has worries when their kid wants to be an art major. Except you,” Beth said, indicating her mother, Marylyn, sitting next to her. That support allowed her to pursue her passions and develop a career she loves.

“It’s a hard road to want to be an artist, but there are ways to make it work,” said Beth. “My career proves that. Sometimes those jobs are dotted lines, but you just have to stick with it.”

By creating the scholarship, she hopes that more UD artists are able to also connect those dots for their future. For Beth, this means using her photography skills documenting and celebrating the conservation process. Plus, she has continued to shoot photography outside of the office and has become a fiber artist as well.

“I know what it’s like to really have this drive to create things, and I want the recipients of the Coye Family Scholarship to make as much art as they can while at UD,” Beth said.

Marylyn echoed her daughter’s sentiment, saying, “Yes, make as much as you can while you’re here. And then keep doing it!”

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