Maryland College of Art Receives Largest Gift in School History
The largest gift in the history of the Maryland Institute College of Art all began with a daughter’s decision not to take over the family business.
Eddie Brown hoped that his daughter would put her Harvard MBA to use by someday taking the helm of Brown Capital Management, which has grown into one of the country’s oldest Black-owned financial firms since its founding in 1983.
But Tonya Ingersol, 35, was accepted last fall to the Hoffberger School of Painting, an exclusive graduate program at MICA. Less than a year later, the school has a $6 million grant to put toward the construction of its first new academic building in a century.
The new structure, the Brown Center, will house a 550-seat auditorium, which will allow MICA to enhance its public programs and performance offerings. It also will be the home for electronically based programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
“Certainly a gift of this magnitude is magnificent regardless of where it comes from,” says Fred Lazarus, the president of MICA. “To have it come from someone in our community, and from an African American, is a really important statement about the institute that sets a great example for the entire community.”
Brown, who is also a regular panelist on Maryland Public Television’s “Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser,” says most of his family’s contributions support the Black community.
Their projects include programs at Howard University’s business school and a family foundation that focuses on Black education issues. They also have funded a gallery for Ethiopian art at the Walters Art Museum and given $150,000 to support the planned Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture.
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