Retiring Maryland Institute College of Art President Fred Lazarus and retiring University of Baltimore President Robert Bogomolny received Sondheim Public Service Awards from the Greater Baltimore Committee for their extraordinary commitment to making a difference in Baltimore.
The Sondheim Award has been given five times since its inception in 2007, and the work both men have done at their institutions to transform the midtown and Penn Station neighborhoods of the city warranted two awards being given this year, according to GBC President and CEO Don Fry. Past recipients of the award are Joe Jones, Sally Michel, Eddie and Sylvia Brown and Bob Embry.
“You’ve seen this complete change,” City Councilman Bill Cole said in a video at the annual meeting. “It was nothing but commuters in the area and then all of a sudden, MICA had the residential component and then more people started moving around UB, and then started seeing businesses pop up … and this miraculous transformation of the community.”
Under the leadership of Lazarus, who served as MICA’s president for 35 years, the school’s enrollment has more than doubled, its campus has increased tenfold and 17 undergraduate and graduate academic programs have been added. Much of Lazarus’ work has focused on improving the cultural and economic vitality of Baltimore. He was instrumental in launching the city’s annual Artscape festival, which is anchored on MICA’s campus and has become the largest free arts festival in the United States.
Bogomolny has similarly transformed his institution into the vibrant hub of a once less-than-thriving community. In Bogomolny’s 12 years as president of UB, he called for the remodeling of the Liberal Arts and Policy Building as a state-of-the-art facility for teaching and research, created the Fitzgerald at UB Midtown residential/retail complex and led the effort to build the new John and Frances Angelos Law Center. Other improvements to the campus during Bogomolny’s tenure include a streetscape program and dedicated UB signage.