Former Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick, Ph.D., has made a $1 million pledge of support to the innovative new Breakthrough Curriculum at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. The Breakthrough Curriculum integrates career development and citizen-artistry skills with the traditional performance training of a conservatory, so that every student graduates prepared for success. Grasmick’s gift will support all aspects of the new curriculum including support for specialized faculty, investments in career services, community outreach and partnerships, and diversity and inclusion efforts associated with the new curriculum.
“The Breakthrough Curriculum is re-defining higher education for 21st-century artists in America. Given her long and distinguished career as an education leader, Nancy Grasmick’s gift takes on even greater meaning, demonstrating a firm belief in Peabody’s academic direction and the importance of this work,” notes Fred Bronstein, dean of the Peabody Institute. “We could not be more grateful to Nancy for her wonderful support.”
A member of the Peabody Institute Advisory Board since 2013 and an alumna of Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D. in Education, ’80), Grasmick is a presidential scholar at Towson University and a faculty member at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute. A longtime advocate for the arts in schools, she served as state superintendent of top-ranked Maryland Public Schools from 1991 until 2011, having begun her career as a classroom teacher. She has received numerous awards for her visionary leadership, including the national Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education and the College Board’s national William U. Harris Award of Excellence. In 2011, she was inducted into The Daily Record’s “Circle of Influence,” recognizing her as a “most Influential Marylander.”
“Artists today have to be prepared to think in ways they’ve never thought before, and this new curriculum goes beyond the traditional training to empower Peabody graduates for success,” Grasmick notes about her gift. “That’s important for them, and even more important for our society. I want our world to continue to benefit from all of the talent emanating from Peabody.”