The Enduring Power of Scholarship Support

Donors Give $3.2 Million to Empower Extraordinary Students

The students at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) are dynamic engines of individual creativity and passion; they will go on to become the most powerful innovators and influencers of the art and design world. That is why making a MICA degree affordable and accessible to the widest, most diverse range of students possible is a top priority for the College. 

MICA has proudly been training visionaries, activists, entrepreneurs, makers, and educators for almost two centuries. Many of the College’s alumni who have become leading contributors to the creative economy—the CEOs, Academy and Emmy Award winners, Fulbright, Guggenheim, and MacArthur Fellows—were scholarship award recipients.

MICA, like other art and design schools, can be challenging to afford and many of our talented young people and their families need assistance to cover tuition and living expenses. Each year, more than 90% of full-time students receive financial assistance. This investment fuels greater enrollment and graduation rates, and enables more talented alumni to become leading, vibrant contributors to the creative economy. This success would be impossible without the incredible generosity of donors, foundations, corporations, and government agencies. 

MICA is pleased to announce recent gifts of more than $3.2 million for merit- and need-based scholarship funds. Of that amount, $2.1 million will be used to provide assistance for any undergraduate student from the greater Baltimore region with demonstrated financial need and good academic standing. Importantly, preference will be given to African American and Hispanic students to equitably reflect social demographics and tackle—in a small way—historic disparities. The second gift of $1.1 million through the Netherwood/Riser Scholarship Fund will support tuition needs for senior Photography majors. 

Both funds are endowed. This means that the interest earned on their market-invested dollars will support multiple, need-based scholarships in perpetuity. In other words, these generous gifts have created different kinds of engines—empowered, self-sustaining resources that will open MICA’s doors and make higher education more equitable for years and years to come. 

Each year, every scholarship recipient is immensely grateful for the support that helps them realize their personal and professional dreams. These expressions of gratitude are from two of this year’s recipients.

“Your contribution to my education is an investment in my career, a promise to help aid in its development. On behalf of my family, as well as myself, I humbly send my extraordinary gratitude for being selected to receive this aid. I am infinitely excited to see what the future brings at such a prestigious school!” - Hunter Ruiz ’24 (Illustration BFA) Recipient: Fanny Blaustein Thalheimer Scholarship

“This scholarship allows me to focus on my learning, engage in a community of educators, and dive into the content and strategies needed for becoming a public school art teacher. MICA’s MAT program is everything I could have hoped for, and I am eager to jump into teaching upon graduation. Thank you again for supporting the next generation of art educators. This work is challenging and rewarding. I am dedicated to being a support system for my students, but it also means that I need support for myself. Your gracious scholarship has given me that support, and I will in turn be able to broaden my impact in positive ways.” - Anna Reid ’23 (Art Education MAT) Recipient: Margaret Glace Scholarship in Art Education

Creativity is one of Baltimore City’s greatest traits and MICA is leveraging all the resources of this artistic community to develop the greatest innovators of our time. The College is immensely grateful for the magnificent gestures of philanthropy which will transform student lives; provide access to high-quality, post-secondary art and design education for more students; and fuel the possibility of a just, joyful, and sustainable world activated by creatives.

For more information

MICA is grateful for the generous contributions of all our donors. For information about how you can support the College, please contact Mansoor Ali in MICA’s Advancement office at 410.225.52321 or