IN THE FALL OF 1978,
when Fred Lazarus IV became its president, Maryland Institute College of Art was an art school with a rich, deeply rooted history, a strong fine arts tradition, three highly regarded graduate schools, a noted art education program, a growing roster of alumni finding success professionally, a growing number of talented young students coming mostly from this region, and a small but dedicated cadre of faculty artists, designers, educators, and scholars. The College had a solid platform and a lot of potential but lacked a plan, the partners, and the financial resources to move forward.
The Board of Trustees hired this non-traditional presidential candidate who is a Harvard MBA—not an artist or educator—because he was an innovative and strategic thinker who intuitively knew the important roles of art and design in society. His previous senior position at the National Endowment for the Arts gave him a broad perspective on the state of the arts across the country and an understanding of how they could economically and culturally impact a community. He also understood the challenges of building the partnerships and finding the financial resources needed to create a vision for MICA's future and to develop a strategic plan to make it a reality.
He accepted these challenges and, knowing he could not do any of this alone, has spent nearly 35 years reaching out to and engaging a far-ranging network of collaborators that includes an informed board, elite faculty, experienced staff, acclaimed visiting artists, committed alumni and parents, cultural, community and civic leaders and officials, and dedicated, generous supporters. They serve individually and collectively as a task force to make the MICA educational experience like no other
and Baltimore a flourishing center of creativity and innovation.
Nationally, MICA holds a leadership position through innovative and ground-breaking programming in community art and design, curatorial studies, and graduate research centers in design and art education, to name just a few. Additionally, Fred's leadership service in numerous organizations, including Americans for the Arts, the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, the National Coalition for Education in the Arts, and Partners for Livable Communities, has helped to strengthen support and advocacy for the arts nationally.
Once Baltimore's best-kept secret, MICA is now internationally renowned and attracts students from 48 states and 61 countries. Today, it administers more international programs than any other college of art, offering opportunities for students, faculty, alumni, and mid-career professionals.
This annual report provides insight into Fred's impact by putting all of MICA's 2013 fiscal year achievements in their proper context—as part of the Lazarus legacy.
As we move forward from such a position of strength, we do so on a brilliantly charted course thanks to Fred's leadership and to the generosity and involvement of our supporters. Just as thousands of our talented students have been able to realize their dreams at MICA, generations of students to come will be able to do so going forward.
Thank you for being our partners. Thank you, President Lazarus.
Fredye Gross P'17
Chair, Board of Trustees 2008-2013