Mark McCoy to Lead DePauw as The University's 20th President

Dr. and Mrs. McCoy at the Introduction of Dr. McCoy as DePauw's 20th President
Mark and Lisa McCoy
Dr. McCoy Introducing the Jazz Band at the Square
The McCoy Family with Yo-Yo Ma
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DePauw’s trustees unanimously endorsed dean of the School of Music Mark McCoy as the University’s next president after a six-month, national search designed to attract the most qualified and diverse pool of applicants. He will take office on July 1, 2016. 

There is a discernible excitement on and off campus surrounding Dr. McCoy’s appointment to the presidency. He is well-known on campus, in the Greencastle community and in academic leadership circles as an entrepreneurial thinker, collaborator and innovator who involves himself passionately in the University and community.

“Of all of the talented and dedicated individuals we considered, Mark McCoy was the clear choice to lead DePauw as our 20th president,” Kathy Patterson Vrabeck ’85, chair of the search committee, said. “He knows and loves this institution, shares our community’s ambitious vision for our future and is a dynamic leader who will be an immediately effective advocate and ambassador for this place we love.”

Vrabeck added that McCoy speaks passionately about his commitment to liberal arts, his absolute endorsement of academic rigor, the need to maintain close town-gown relationships and the importance of creating an inclusive campus where everyone feels welcome and empowered to do their best.

McCoy came to DePauw as dean of the School of Music in 2011 following a 16-year career as chair of the School of Music at his undergraduate alma mater, Shepherd University. At DePauw, McCoy has impressively united alumni, students and the School of Music faculty members to revolutionize the department’s curriculum with the 21st-Century Musician Initiative (21CM) launched in 2013. The pioneering initiative infuses the music curriculum with the study and application of entrepreneurship, audience development and marketing, technology and innovation to produce graduates well-equipped to excel in the rapidly changing music industry.

In his five years as dean, McCoy has raised $24 million for the School of Music, increased multicultural enrollment by 10 percent to the highest level in the school’s history, doubled attendance at School of Music events, and positioned the music school and DePauw as a major cultural destination for the region. He partnered with famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma to create the Silk Road Global Musician Workshop, which invites musicians from around the world to perform in Greencastle each June with the world-renowned Silk Road Ensemble. He also launched Music on the Square, a venue in downtown Greencastle that brings the campus and community together for music classes and performances. 

“Mark McCoy’s leadership of the DePauw School of Music has demonstrated that he is a person of vision and energy,” said Marshall Reavis ’84, chair of DePauw’s Board of Trustees. “He is also cognizant of the challenges facing DePauw that will require innovative thinking. Mark is very familiar with the campus and its culture, is passionate about making the University a more diverse and inclusive place, and is a proven fundraiser who will energize the ongoing Campaign for DePauw. He will ensure that tomorrow’s DePauw students have even greater opportunities to learn and succeed.”

McCoy is also dedicated to The Campaign for DePauw’s goal to increase student access through The DePauw Trust endowment for need-based scholarships. “As a first-generation college student, I believe the undergraduate experience should be inspirational, aspirational and transformational,” McCoy said. “I can imagine no college in America that can do that better than DePauw. Our alumni set a high bar and provide shining examples of how DePauw graduates make more than a living - they make a life.”

McCoy added, “I look forward to furthering our work on diversity and inclusion, expanding our academic commitment and vision, and finding ways that make a DePauw education possible so that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds can share in this one-of-a-kind, life-changing experience that we provide.”

An active member of the Greencastle community, along with his wife, Lisa, and their three young daughters, McCoy is proud of DePauw’s ever-increasing involvement with the local community and the many ways the campus promotes social justice and responsible citizenship. 

McCoy has excelled in several leadership programs including the Harvard Kennedy School on Executive Education. A native of West Virginia, he has a B.A. degree in music education from Shepherd University, master’s degree from Peabody Conservatory and Ph.D. in fine arts from Texas Tech University.

“I was fortunate to be involved in DePauw’s last two presidential selection committees, and I know that in selecting Mark McCoy we have chosen the best person to lead the University,” national campaign co-chair Sarah Reese Wallace ’76 said. “He has shifted the paradigm for music education in America. He will do the same for the entire University, making DePauw a 21st-century leader in liberal arts education in the years to come.”

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