Fred Lazarus IV

President Emeritus, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Fred Lazarus IV H'14 is president emeritus of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), where from 1978 to 2014 he led the evolution of the College into a globally recognized leader in transformative art and design education. Under his leadership, MICA's enrollment more than doubled; the size of the campus increased tenfold; the endowment grew by more than 25 times; three research centers were created; and seventeen undergraduate and graduate academic programs were added. Today, MICA's MFA graduate programs are ranked in the top 10 nationally by US News and World Report, and Parade magazine recently promoted MICA's undergraduate studio arts programs as one of the top two nationwide. Programming instituted by the College in both interdisciplinary study and community and social engagement have sparked international trends in higher education. In 2013, President Lazarus was named a finalist for the Baltimore Sun's Marylander of the Year award, and won its online poll. Baltimore magazine recognized him for having the city's "Best Legacy" in their 2013 "Best Of Baltimore" edition, and Baltimore's City Paper named him the city's most powerful person during the first week of May 2013. Also in 2013, the City of Baltimore announced the creation of the annual Fred Lazarus IV Artscape Prize, to be awarded each year to a high school senior. Lazarus received an honorable mention for the 2012 Marylander of the Year award, was featured in Baltimore magazine's 2011 'power' listing of the city's most influential people, and was awarded the 2010 Founders Award for Civic Leadership from Partners for Livable Communities. More recently, he was honored by resolutions passed in both the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate, and the City of Baltimore declared March 26, 2014 as "Fred Lazarus Day."
Beyond MICA, President Lazarus is a national leader in the advancement and integration of the arts, education, and community development. He served as founding chair of both Americans for the Arts and the National Coalition for Education in the Arts, and has also chaired the Maryland Independent College and Universities Association, the Arts Education Committee of the American Council for the Arts, and the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. He is the founding and current chair of Central Baltimore Partnership, a founding board member of both the Midtown Development Corporation board and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, and serves on numerous other boards of directors, including Partners for Livable Communities, Arts Every Day, and Americans for the Arts. He is also a founder and vice-chair of the Baltimore Design School.
While Lazarus has overseen innovations in academic programming that are global in scope, much of his work has also been focused on improving the cultural and economic vitality of Baltimore. In fact, thanks in large part to Lazarus's leadership, Baltimore's reputation as a cultural destination has exploded in recent years. He was instrumental in launching the city's annual Artscape festival, which has become the largest free arts festival in the United States. Anchored on MICA's campus and extending out for multiple city blocks, Artscape annually draws more than 350,000 visitors and has an economic impact on Maryland approaching $26 million. Likewise, his leadership in opening MICA's Graduate Studio Center on a neglected stretch of Baltimore's North Avenue triggered the revitalization of that entire area and its subsequent designation as Maryland's first official Arts and Entertainment District. Now known as Station North, and f