Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Disney School Benefactor Passes Away

Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney's oldest daughter, died Tuesday at age 79.

Mrs. Miller, a philanthropist, had a lifetime desire to keep her father's memory alive by distributing the family's wealth in non-commercial ways for the benefit of entire communities.  So when Chicago's very first magnet school was named after her father, she became a generous benefactor to Uptown's Walt Disney Magnet, located at 4140 N Marine Drive.

In 2004, she visited the school and donated $250,000 for the creation of an animation lab.  By 2010, she had donated an additional $700,000, some of which went to create a digital music studio.  When she visited the school that year, students put on a presentation that incorporated parts of Disney Studios' most famous films, as well as original works they had created in the animation lab and music studio she made possible.

Mrs. Miller was charmed.  She said, according to the Sun-Times:
"[My father] believed education should be fun. You should have to work hard at it, but it should be fun.''  If Walt Disney were to tour Disney Magnet today, "He'd say 'This is what I meant,'" Miller said.  "When I walk in this school, I am so proud of it. I wish this could happen in every city in the country."
Rest in peace, Mrs. Miller. Thank you for your generosity to Uptown's students.

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