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Cornish College Of The Arts Inaugurates Its First African American President

Cornish College Of The Arts Inaugurates Its First African American President


Photo credit: Michelle Smith-Lewis.

Raymond Tymas-Jones made history on Friday when he was installed as the first African American President of Cornish College of the Arts. 

"I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to join the Cornish College of the Arts’ community as its next President," Jones said back in April when his appointment was first announced. "The legacy of Cornish College as a progressive institution, dedicated to preparing artists to fully participate in society as citizens of innovation and creativity, continues. My goal is to ensure that Cornish’s faculty, staff, and students thrive and excel as artists, innovators, and creatives for the express purpose of impacting the artistic and cultural communities of Seattle and beyond." 

After graduating with a Bachelor of Music from Howard University, Jones went on to earn a Master of Music from Washington University in St. Louis, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy with a focus in Performance Practice in Voice from Washington University. For nearly 30 years, Jones has worked as a leader in higher education, previously serving as an associate Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Fine Arts at Buffalo State College, Director of the School of Music at the University of Northern Iowa, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University, and Dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah, where he also became the associate vice president for the arts in 2017.

During his installation ceremony as the tenth president of Cornish College of the Arts, Jones shared: "Very early on in my life, music became the vehicle of personal awareness, as well as a greater sense of being connected with my family and community. I have the good fortune of being the product of parents who instilled in all of their children an appreciation of music and the arts, a love of community, strong personal values, and a belief that in order to have a fulfilling life, being in service to something larger than oneself is essential." 

"It was that background, he said, that led him to 'to becoming the first generation college graduate in my family, and consequently pursue a career in the arts grounded in music,'" Cornish News reports. 

Congratulations President Tymas-Jones and best of luck to you in your new role!