The first recipient of the 1996 Hunsaker Scholarship, Emily Turney Owen ’00 used her creative talents and arts education to build a business of her own.
In her Irvine, Calif., office, there are beautiful cards and ephemera on display—colorful, upbeat and elegant thank you cards, birthday greetings and baby announcements. Emily Turney Owen ’00 is the owner of Wiley Valentine, a graphic arts company she founded with her business partner nearly 11 years ago. “We specialize in wedding invitations, and I love what I do,” said Owen. “I wouldn’t be doing this if I hadn’t gone to Redlands, and Rich and Ginnie Hunsaker made that possible.”
Owen was the very first recipient of the original Hunsaker Scholarship, established in 1996, which allowed her to attend Redlands and earn a bachelor’s degree in art and graphic design. The scholarship honors the generous leadership of the Hunsakers, who have been long-time supporters of both University of Redlands and The Wooden Floor nonprofit dance studio in Santa Ana, Calif. Previously known as the St. Joseph Ballet, the studio provides young people from various economic backgrounds the chance to explore dance and other opportunities outside their communities. The scholarship paves the way for select alumni from The Wooden Floor to attend Redlands. Owen danced with the studio for nearly seven years. “From the start, dance was something I was passionate about, and by the time I was in high school, I danced every day,” she said.
“Studying art made sense for me. I’ve always been really visual, and I loved all of my art classes at Redlands,” she said. Owen gets back to campus for homecoming celebrations with her college friends, and she and her husband make it a point to give back to the community. “The Hunsakers are a real inspiration, because they pour their hearts into the organizations they support,” she said. “I am also passionate about Redlands, because they were the best years of my life.”