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Fragrance Foundation Honors FIT Professors, Announces New Scholarship

FIT's Virginia Bonofiglio and Stephan Kanlian were inducted into the Fragrance Foundation's Circle of Champions.

Fragrance Foundation president Linda Levy was ebullient, as 175 industry execs gathered for the 21st annual Circle of Champions dinner held last Thursday in New York, celebrating the return of IRL events as well as the evenings honorees, FIT’s Virginia Bonofiglio and Stephan Kanlian. Levy took full advantage of the moment, announcing the creation of the Fragrance Foundation FIT Diversity Scholarship, a $100,000 academic award that will benefit FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing programs on both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“Diversity, equity and inclusivity is our number-one priority,” Levy told the crowd, which included Laura Slatkin, Kate Oldham, Rob Smith, Chris Collins, Denis Ferenc, Emily Bond, Ann Gottlieb, Rebecca Moses and more.

Dr. Joyce Brown, president of FIT, expressed gratitude for the gift and honored the achievements of Bonofiglio and Kanlian, who head up the undergraduate and graduate Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing programs, respectively. Brown noted that both are part of a well-established tradition of industry leaders transitioning from business to the teaching sphere to groom the next generation of leaders. “FIT was founded by industry leaders who understood the role of education,” said Brown, “and we continue to attract unconventional spirits who like to innovate and educate.”

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For their part, both Bonofiglio and Kanlian stressed the deep significance their students have played in their lives, a point underscored by Tennille Kopiasz, chief marketing officer of Fresh who graduated from both programs. “I learned so much from Virginia who made me love this industry,” Kopiasz said, “and Stephan prepared us to be not just beauty leaders, but the CEOs of the future.”

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The professors echoed the sentiment. “If we are the educators, our students are the innovators, the disruptors who will propel us into the future,” Bonofiglio said.

“We are so honored to be recognized for doing what we love,” said Kanlian, “which is teaching and mentoring. It means a great deal to us.”