How a Reunion, Children’s Books and Underwater Photography Led to a $100,000 Endowment
Contact: Brandi Lewis
When alumna Sallie Baldwin (’60) packed up her Manhattan office it was no small task. Her bookshelves contained more than 35 years of work--an excess of 2,000 children’s books she had either illustrated, re-packaged or created as an updated look to showcase a timeless story.
To get a feel for Sallie Baldwin’s legacy, think of a miniature boxed set of Beatrix Potter books or four redesigned adventures of everyone’s favorite French schoolgirl Madeline. Then there are the tactile books, the pop up books and the custom-made dolls packaged with the stories of famous children’s heroines. Sallie became known as an expert on “creating a new spin” on universal favorites like Winnie the Pooh or Dr. Seuss without ever changing a word of the classical stories. Chances are, most families in the nation have been touched by Sallie’s creativity in some way.
For nearly four decades Sallie worked with some of the biggest names in publishing—Random House, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins and McGraw Hill, just to name a few. To commemorate how she got there Sallie recently established a $50,000 endowed scholarship for DAAP students. Sallie attended her 50th class reunion at the urging of a friend and realized there are scores of talented students who require significant financial assistance in order to attend DAAP. Her husband, renowned underwater photographer Foster Bam, surprised his wife by matching her gift with another $50,000 to create a substantial $100,000 endowment that will assist promising DAAP students for years to come.
“I want to see needy students just like I was get this DAAP scholarship,” she explains. “When I arrived at UC I barely had the money to get through the first year. I took every campus job I could find. Then I started my co-op my sophomore year. That changed everything. It launched me into my dream world. Before I graduated I had a job waiting for me at Vogue Magazine in New York City.”
Sallie is determined to give back to others the same way the University provided immeasurable opportunities for her. Thanks to her co-ops and the reputation of the program, her degree in graphic design was indeed a valuable ticket that launched an extraordinary career.
Following her one-year stint at Vogue, Sallie accepted a three-year project producing the graphics for a children’s encyclopedia. After a belated “gap year” touring Europe, the children’s publishing world beckoned her. She was named art director for a major publishing company, developed a substantial reputation and made the leap to launch her own company, never looking back.
She met her husband through mutual friends in the ‘80s. A Yale graduate, Foster Bam’s award-winning photography captures the beauty of wildlife and fauna around the globe as well as extraordinary views of underwater creatures.
During Sallie’s illustrious career, technology revolutionized the graphic arts world. It did not deter her. “I had to keep learning new processes. People need to follow their passions and be able to adapt as things change quickly,” she believes. “You have to adapt and be loyal to yourself. Find what suits you to win.”
She cautions, “Always listen to your soul but remember that sometimes you’re going to have to sacrifice. You can’t have everything. But I sure had a good run.”