Chronicle of Philanthropy, Associated Press, Local Outlets Cover Largest Gift in College's History
Posted 07.27.11 by MICA communications
BALTIMORE--MICA today announced the largest gift in the College's history, a $10 million endowment gift from longtime trustee and benefactor George L. Bunting, Jr. and his wife, Anne Bunting. The gift will support the expansion of MICA's graduate studies and related research activity.
With the Buntings' support, MICA will be able to provide graduate students with scholarships and artmaking and technological resources, as well as offer students the flexibility and freedom to explore problem solving in an intensely thorough fashion. The gift will also help make possible faculty-student research collaboration and engagement with visiting artists, community partners and a wide range of industrial, non-profit and governmental interests.
George L. Bunting, Jr. who has an honorary doctorate in humane letters from MICA, has provided more than three decades of service on the Board of Trustees, at one time acting as vice-chairman of the board, participating on the finance and investment committees, and chairing the search committee that recruited President Fred Lazarus IV. The Buntings' provided financial support to renovate the building that became MICA's Bunting Center, which houses student services, galleries, classrooms, academic offices and the library. The Buntings' strong connections to MICA run in the family; their son, Jeffrey G. Bunting, currently sits on the board.
"Once again, George and Anne have redefined what true leadership can do to propel the College ahead," Vice President of Advancement Michael Franco said. "Not only was Mr. Bunting instrumental in helping MICA see the important role of graduate study in its future, he and his wife also stepped forward with this wonderful gift of endowment to help ensure the College will have the necessary resources to pursue this path."
The Buntings' gift will provide support for the College's efforts to redefine graduate education in art and design. By the end of the decade, MICA aims to increase graduate student enrollment by 64 percent and the number of programs by 82 percent when compared to 2010. With M.F.A. programs ranked 4th nationally by U.S. News and World Report, MICA offers 15 graduate programs in fine art, design, education, business and community arts leading to the M.F.A., M.A., M.A.T., M.P.S., and post-baccalaureate certificate. To create synergies between graduate education and research, the College recently appointed Gunalan Nadarajan, previously MICA's vice provost for research, to be the vice provost of research and graduate studies.
Nadarajan's original appointment in 2008 represented the first senior academic leadership position dedicated to research at an American art college, and he has led the way in modeling the role of research at an art institution. The Office of Research, led by Nadarajan, focuses on developing art and design research with the potential to affect society, policy, commerce, science and technology through the College's three research centers in design practice, design thinking, and race and culture, among other departments. Nadarajan has been instrumental in forging research partnerships with city, state and federal entities, such as The Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Maryland Energy Administration.
"I am excited about the opportunity the Buntings' gift provides to integrate MICA's twin strategic imperatives of graduate studies and research," Nadarajan said. "As one of the nation's top colleges for graduate studies in art and design, MICA is at the forefront not only of teaching and learning through world-class graduate programs but also in the research and generation of innovative ideas and practices that will drive contemporary developments in art and design."
George L. Bunting, Jr. is the president of Bunting Management Group, a private financial management company. He was formerly the chairman and CEO of Maryland-based Noxell Corp., a company founded by his grandfather that is known for the famous Noxzema skin cream as well as CoverGirl products.
Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,300 undergraduate, graduate and open studies students from 48 states and the District of Columbia and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.