MICA Announces Cecilia McCormick as President

McCormick will continue as president, following her interim presidency since January 2024, and will spearhead exciting new initiatives for the leading art and design school

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) announces Cecilia M. McCormick, J.D.  as the College’s new president, following her six-month engagement as interim president.

The appointment follows thoughtful consideration by MICA’s Board of Trustees and marks an auspicious next chapter of the historic art and design school. Previously serving as Elizabethtown College’s first woman president, McCormick secured financial stability and enrollment growth for the institution. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the presidential role.

MICA President Cecilia M. McCormick, J.D.

A first-generation college student, McCormick has devoted her career to education, advocacy, and community service. The positions she has held across several well-known universities, including the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, exhibit a demonstrated care for the relationship between school and community, for creating professional pipelines from educational practices to an ever-changing workforce, and for establishing space for underserved populations to thrive.

 “It has been a particular thrill to lead MICA these past several months. It is a truly vibrant place with remarkable faculty, staff, and students. I stand honored and ready to steward such a historic institution into its third century,” said McCormick.

 McCormick was appointed interim President in January 2024, following Samuel Hoi’s tenure, which began in July 2014 and concluded nearly a decade later. This announcement follows an extensive process conducted by trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

 “President McCormick joined our tight-knit community, and immediately employed her expertise and wide-ranging connections to give herself wholeheartedly to our institution,” said Eric Jordahl, Chair of MICA’s Board of Trustees. “MICA is in the midst of a transformational time that sees it poised to thrive as it enters its third century. Cecilia brings the kind of financial, legal, and operational expertise that is essential for this moment in MICA’s history.”

 As the leader of the MICA community, McCormick will continue to oversee the school’s efforts to bring the best art and design education to learners of all experiences and identities; work with the MICA community to guide the institution’s financial transformation, rearticulate MICA’s value within the rapidly evolving higher education marketplace; and further embed MICA in the local community in a way that respects the unique identities of both the school and the surrounding city of Baltimore.

 Since her appointment, McCormick has made great strides in helping MICA re-emerge as a premiere college of art and design after the disruptions of the pandemic. Implementing new strategies and innovations, she closed financial gaps and increased key enrollment metrics through a dedicated and energetic approach to operational efficiency, introducing new programs and revenue generating innovations, and re-examining and re-negotiating long-standing financial structures. Fall 2024 will mark the start of the school’s new media arts program, and MICA is poised to debut its first online Bachelor’s program for Design in the next year.

 “Having observed Cecilia’s work with the board, staff, and professors at MICA these past months, I am certain she is the right choice to lead MICA through these uncertain times,” said trustee and philanthropist Neil Meyerhoff. “Sayra and I feel so strongly about her leadership abilities that we have again made a major contribution to MICA’s current capital campaign.”

 MICA is at a time of great potential as it approaches its bicentennial year in 2026. The institution was once again a Top Producer of Fulbright US Students. A newly adopted strategic plan embraces a model of integrative education that will deliberately cultivate a new generation of artists – one capable of seamlessly weaving innovation and new technology, entrepreneurship, and creative citizenship with contemporary approaches to art, design, and media.

 About The Maryland Institute College of Art

Founded in 1826, The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls over 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 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 ten by U.S. News and 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.

 About President Cecilia M. McCormick, J.D.

Cecilia McCormick previously worked as Vice Provost for Academic Strategy and Special Programs, Chief of Staff for Academic Affairs, and the Associate Provost for Strategic and Academic Initiatives at Thomas Jefferson University, where she was integral to the school’s historic merger with Philadelphia University — one that brought together the health sciences and the world of art and design to create entrepreneurial opportunities with a focus on skills and workforce development for underserved populations. Prior to that, McCormick served as Chief of Staff to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Operating Officer.  She also has held myriad positions at Widener University, including serving as Executive Director in the Office of the President and a member of the President’s Executive Team.

McCormick received her bachelor’s degree in management/marketing from Saint Joseph’s University, her Paralegal Certificate from Widener University, a Juris Doctorate from Delaware Law School, Widener University, and post-doctoral education from the Institute of Educational Management at Harvard University, Graduate School of Education. Harvard Presidents Institute and the Council of Independent Colleges New President Institute. She and her husband, John, have three sons, three daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.