Inspire Excellence!

Transform lives and accelerate innovation at Chapman

Members of Town & Gown with previous Lunch at the Forum presenters
Town & Gown members (center) with the Wimberley Bluegrass Band at a previous Lunch at the Forum event

Town & Gown’s Lunch at the Forum Series Supports Chapman Students with Scholarships and Academic Advancements

For over half a century, the philanthropic support group Town & Gown has provided generous support to Chapman University. Currently, there are over 230 members and 27 board members. The membership comprises alumni, parents and grandparents of students, business leaders, current and former Chapman faculty and staff and community members.

“One of Town & Gown’s top priorities is providing scholarship support to Chapman students,” said Kathy Dunlap ’85, president of Town & Gown. “Through membership dues and special gifts, we have been able to help 67 students achieve their educational aspirations. We also provide interesting special events and programs, which we believe help connect the community (Town) to the campus (Gown) for the betterment of Chapman.”

Since 1994, Town & Gown has brought its signature speaker series, Lunch at the Forum, to its members and friends.

“Our annual speaker series features some of Chapman’s outstanding faculty members and academic leaders who speak on their research, studies and experiences,” said Susie Willits, the first vice chairman. “Lunch at the Forum has been a highlight for our members, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, friends and the community.”

In the fall, Town & Gown hosted two events as part of the Lunch at Forum series:

  • Oct. 5, 2023: Do Humans Have Free Will? What Can Neuroscience Contribute to the Debate? with Uri Maoz, Ph.D., assistant professor of computational neuroscience, Crean College and Brain Institute
  • Nov. 2, 2023: Music with the Wimberley Bluegrass Band with Danielle, James, Mark and Michael Wimberley

In the winter and spring of 2024, three more Lunch at the Forum events are planned:

  • Feb. 1, 2024: Campus Planning: Progress and Preservation with Collette Creppell, vice president of campus planning and design
  • Mar. 7, 2024: Teaching Russian Art in a Time of War with Wendy Salmond, professor, Martha Weidlein Masters Professor in Art
  • May 2, 2024: Casting a Wider Net: How the Casting of a Film or TV Show can Impact the World with Russell Boast, assistant professor, artistic faculty, Dodge College

Tickets start at $50 and are available for purchase by visiting

“Since the late 1960s, Town & Gown has proudly contributed to Chapman University,” said Gabe Cagwin, Ph.D., vice president of development. “We are grateful for their support of our students and campus.”

For over 30 years, the Town & Gown Endowed Scholarship has been helping talented and hardworking students fund their Chapman education. In addition, Town & Gown established an endowed fund for Arts, Humanities and Sciences at the Leatherby Libraries, which provides books to support the liberal arts core that is the heart of the university.

Over time, Town & Gown has broadened its mission to include the underwriting of several on-campus academic and aesthetic projects. The generous spirit and legacy of Town & Gown can also be seen throughout campus:

  • The Town & Gown Gardens at the Elliott Alumni House – named for members Tom ’60 and Pat ’60 (MA ’74) Elliott
  • The Town & Gown Reading Alcove in the Leatherby Libraries
  • The American flag in the Ambassador George L. Argyros ’59 Global Citizens Plaza
  • The “Milestones on the Road to Freedom” wall in Kennedy Hall
  • Gentle Spring Fountain in Escalette Plaza

To support Chapman students and academic advances, join Town & Gown today or donate to scholarships or the endowment.

Your Header Sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.