The Nuckolls Fund Distributes $130,500 in Grants and Awards for 2022

This week at LEDucation The Nuckolls Fund continued its giving ways and announced the 2022 Fund recipients. A total of $130,500 was awarded for 2022. Included in that total is three $30,000 Nuckolls Grants recipients to expand lighting criteria, one $7,500 Lesley Wheel Grant to develop a new curriculum, one $13,000 Edison Price Fellowship for a summer internship and four $5000 Student Achievement Awards.

Nuckolls Fund 2022 Grant Summary

Nuckolls Fund – $30,000 each

  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, by Jake Tucci
  • School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech, by James Jones and Ron Gibbons
  • Mississippi State University, by Robin Carroll.

Lesley Wheel Grant – $7,500

  • Victoria McReyolds, Texas Tech.

Edison Price Fellowship – $13,000

  • Arpah Guha from Lawrence Technological University at the Light and Health Research Center at Mount Sinai

Student Achievement Awards – $5,000 each

  • Sachintha De Vas Gunawardena, Rensselaer Polytechnique
  • Wangyang Song, Pennsylvania State University
  • Makayla Thompson, University of Nebraska/Lincoln
  • Paola Kwan, University of Colorado/Boulder

We talked to Nuckolls Fund President Lee Waldron and asked when and how the Nuckolls Fund started.

Mr. Waldron stated, “In 1988 the renown lighting designer Lesley Wheel took it upon herself to generate $40,000 from the lighting industry and formed a 501(c)3 charitable organization to honor Jim Nuckolls and his work to further lighting education at Parsons. Over the past 33 years The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education has provided $1,250,000+ in grants to over sixty college-level programs covering both introductory coursework and expanded curricula.  Additionally, another $200,000+ in fellowships has supported teacher enrichment in the lighting industry for twenty-two educators. And, finally over fifty students have received $5000 scholarships for scholastic achievement.”

Those are some overwhelming numbers. Let’s summarize what the Nuckolls Fund has contributed to education in lighting since its inception in 1988.

  •   Over $1,250,000 in grants
  •   Over 60 college-level programs
  •   Over $ 200,000 in fellowships for teacher enrichment
  •   Assisting 22 lighting educators
  •   Over 50 student scholarships for an additional $ 250,000

Mr. Waldron was asked about the process and when are the key dates and deadlines for the coming year. “The endowment fund functions with minimal administrative overhead to maximize all giving and contributions to the NFLE to foster lighting education for thousands of students in North America.  Proposals for 2023 grants and fellowships will be announced in this Fall with an early January deadline.” said Mr. Waldron.

Asked if he had anything else he would like to add Mr. Waldron replied, “The Fund continues to expand lighting knowledge beyond architectural and interior design programs.  We see the interest in lighting and wellbeing coming from related curricula that is originating from departments in industrial design, health, entertainment arts, and solid-state technology.  We look to contact all who believe that lighting affects people’s lives.  And we encourage financial gifts from those who want to support the positive benefits of good light.”

For more information on how to apply for a grant or how to contribute please see the Nuckolls Fund website.

Full Press Release can be viewed below.

Full Disclosure – Columnist Tom Butters, LC is a member of the Board of Directors for The Nuckolls Fund.


For further information, please contact:                                                                                           For Immediate Use:  March 15, 2022

Vilma Barr, BPES, 917-796 -4318

[email protected]

Jeanne Clemente, 845-424-6160

[email protected]


The Nuckolls Fund Distributes $130,500 in Grants and Awards for 2022

The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education for 2022 has issued grants and awards totally $130,500, ranging from $30,000 to $5,000. Due to COVID restrictions, a presentation at LEDucation in New York City was replaced by mail notifications. This year’s grants and awards brought the Fund’s total distribution to $1,715,500 since its formation in 1988.

The Nuckolls Fund supports college-level lighting programs that enable students to learn, appreciate, and apply the fundamentals of lighting design, and to recognize the achievements of the late lighting designer and pioneer lighting educator, James L. Nuckolls. Submittals for financial support from the Fund’s programs are judged annually by The Fund’s Board of Directors.

Nuckolls Fund president Lee Waldron, FIALD, president of Grenald Waldron Associates, in announcing this year’s award and grant recipients, recognized the generosity of the lighting community. “We are proud of our record to continue its financial support for the advancement of lighting education,” Waldron says. “In total, 140 grants and awards have been sponsored by the Nuckolls Fund during its 33 years, including 59 grants to expand or create a new lighting course.

“I am pleased to report that the three $30,000 Nuckolls Grants for are being applied to expand lighting curricula. They include funding an upper-level advanced lighting course for interior designers at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, by Jake Tucci; a new course in the School of Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech incorporating the 14 Patterns of Biophilic design, by James Jones and Ron Gibbons; and a continuation of new lighting related curricula at Mississippi State University, by Robin Carroll. In addition, a $7,500 Lesley Wheel Grant will focus on the induction of an architectural lighting course through building and testing lighting tools.

“The $13,000 Edison Price Fellowship will be applied to the summer internship of Arpah Guha at the Light and Health Research Center at Lawrence Technological University,” Waldron reported.

In receipt of four $5,000 Student Achievement awards were: Sachintha De Vas Gunawardena, Renesselaer Polytechnique Institute, for the Jonas Bellovin Scholar Achievement Award; Wangyang Song, Pennsylvania State University, for the Jules Horton International Student Achievement Award; and Makayla Thompson, University of Nebraska/Lincoln; and to Paola Kwan, University of Colorado/Boulder, for the 2021 Designers Lighting Forum of New York Student Achievement Awards.



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