Mary Schmidt Campbell
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Mary Schmidt Campbell is the President of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She was appointed in 2015. She is dean emerita of the Tisch School of the Arts and Associate Provost for the Arts at New York University. She was appointed Dean in 1991 and Associate Provost in December 2004.
Campbell is also past chair of the Department of Art and Public Policy at the Tisch School since 2000. Under her stewardship as Dean, the Tisch School tripled the number of applications it receives, cut its acceptance rate in half, and increased the percentage of minority students studying there from 10% to 40%. She initiated major renovations of the School’s film facilities; inaugurated new programs in Art and Public Policy, Film Preservation and Archiving, and Recorded Music; and lead the School in a $75 million capital campaign. As Associate Provost for the Arts, her responsibility was to provide guidance and leadership in the arts which transcend individual schools at NYU.
Previously, she was Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs from 1987-1991 in the Edward I. Koch and David Dinkins administrations. She came to city government after having served as executive director of the Studio Museum in Harlem from 1977-87. Prior to that she was guest curator and curator at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY from 1974–76 and art editor of the Syracuse New Times from 1974-77.
She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has sat on the boards of the American Academy in Rome, the New York Shakespeare Festival, and the United Nations International School. She holds honorary degrees from The College of New Rochelle, Colgate University, City University of New York, and Pace University. She has given numerous lectures, authored many papers and articles, and is co-author of Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1987) and Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987 (New York: Oxford University Press & The Studio Museum in Harlem, 1991). She received a Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1986.
Campbell received a B.A. degree in English literature from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in art history from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in humanities, also from Syracuse. She is married to Dr. George Campbell Jr., President 'Emeritus' of The Cooper Union. They have three sons.