Arts Advocates: Goran Matijasevic
Q&A with Goran Matijasevic
As executive director of the UCI Chief Executive Roundtable, Goran Matijasevic, Ph.D., MBA, serves as an ambassador to the business community. He’s also one of the most avid supporters of the arts at UCI, attending nearly every performance, exhibition and event offered by the Claire Trevor School of the Arts – 41 in just the past 12 months. A member of the Claire Trevor Society, Matijasevic provides philanthropic support across the school. He has received both the UCI Lauds & Laurels Distinguished Engineering Alumnus and Outstanding Staff Achievement Awards.
Q. With your degrees in engineering and business, what role do the arts play in your own life?
GM: From an early age, my parents exposed me to the arts, taking my brother and me to concerts, opera and museum exhibits wherever we were. During high school in New York, I enjoyed art classes and often found myself wandering museums alone. Although I never had too much success in any arts endeavors, I took a liking to expressing myself through photography – which I continue today – and I even started a photography club while I was a grad student at UCI.
Q. How did you first become involved with CTSA?
GM: As a grad student at UCI, I attended arts performances at the School of the Arts (now CTSA), finding them affordable for my student budget. In fact, my first date with my late wife Susan was an M.F.A. dance performance at UCI. We enjoyed many other performances and exhibitions at UCI over the years. In fact, this led me to recently establish an endowed graduate award in dance in the name of Susan and me.
Q. What inspires you to support the arts and CTSA?
GM: I believe arts are essential as they offer a pathway to broadening one’s horizons. When I host the UCI Alumni Association Dinner with Anteaters, I make it a point to take the students to a performance at CTSA after an early dinner. I’m always surprised at how many students have never been to a symphony concert or ventured over to CTSA for one of the many performances there, and I’m so glad to be able to expose them to the arts. I choose to support the arts because I enjoy them and want to encourage our arts students, but ultimately, the arts enrich our entire community.
Q. You’re a charter member of the Claire Trevor Society, which enhances the academic and creative excellence at CTSA. What have you enjoyed most about your involvement?
GM: For someone like me who already attends most of the wonderful performances by CTSA, the Claire Trevor Society is a great opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes peek into the shows and exhibits.
Q. What role do you see the arts playing in building bridges at UCI and in our community?
GM: UCI arts provide a great bridge to connect with the local community and our alumni. While UCI has a lot to offer in the way of lectures and events across many, many disciplines, the arts offer a universal language and can be enjoyed by all.
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