Rozene Supple Pledges $ 2 Million Gift to Establish Education Endowment PS High Auditoriuim
A local businesswoman has pledged the largest philanthropic gift in the history of Palm Springs Unified School District to establish an endowment to support film education, performing and visual arts and health and wellness.
Rozene Supple, who owns the Camelot Theatre and non-profit Palm Springs Cultural Center, has pledged $2 million to the Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District to establish the Rozene Supple Endowment and name the newly renovated Palm Springs High School Auditorium to honor her family name. The “Richards Center for the Arts” will be completed this fall following an extensive renovation and addition of the auditorium located on the Palm Springs High School campus.
Supple, and her husband Ric, started the Palm Springs Cultural Center to support educational endeavors for students interested in careers in film as well as the promotion of health and wellness activities here in the Valley. She said she sees the endowment and naming as an extension of that mission as well as a tribute to her father, whom she shared a love of Palm Springs with, dating back to the 1930s. She recalls riding her horse to Palm Springs High as a sophomore in 1940 and then returning to the city after attending college at Stanford University and living in Beverly Hills and Detroit where her father got her interested in the radio business. She met her second husband, Ric Supple, at Stanford University and when deciding to settle in Palm Springs, they chose Smoketree Ranch, which was where her father had owned a home. The Supples purchased several radio stations and began R&R Broadcasting here in the 1960s, where their son, Rick, was the “traffic manager.” During this time, the Supples have been involved in several philanthropic endeavors including Desert Regional Hospital (the Trauma Center bears the Richards name) and several film festivals.
“I always wanted to be around younger people because of their energy and ideas,” said Rozene. “My dad (former owner of the Detroit Lions and radio mogul) was an active supporter of the police association, the symphony and just about every cause you could imagine. I always wanted to give to others and was on the board of the artists’ market in Detroit to raise money for artists there. That’s what I wanted to do here.”
The Supples started the Palm Springs Cultural Center in 2008 aimed at advancing education, nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts and sponsorship scholarship awards for deserving individuals. One of the Center’s major projects is the weekly farmer’s markets in three valley locations during the season and the bolstering of several local film festivals. The plan is for the new Rozene Supple Endowment to expand the PS Cultural Center work including creating sustainable programs for students to pursue their interests in film and performing and visual arts.
“I would love to establish a multi-use space in theater 3 where students can expand their knowledge and establish their experience,” Rozene Supple said.
"This gift is by far the largest donation to date for PSUSD. There is no easy choice when deciding who to endow money to as there are so many worthy causes in the valley,” said Foundation Executive Director Ellen Goodman. "Rozene's love for the arts and commitment to making Palm Springs a wonderful place is reflected in her gift to our students - and for this we are forever grateful."
The Richards Center for the Arts will be dedicated in November.