RISD’s 16 Previous Presidents | 1877–2013

  • John Maeda, 2008–2013

    John Maeda, 2008–2013

    A designer and passionate advocate for the role of design in technology, John Maeda elevated RISD’s reputation worldwide while strengthening its operational foundations and spearheading record-breaking fundraising for scholarships. Promoting the acronym STEAM, he led a growing effort to add art to the national agenda promoting improved STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, believing that art and design are poised to transform world economies in the 21st century just as science and technology did in the 20th century.

  • Roger Mandle, 1993–2008

    Roger Mandle, 1993–2008

    During his 15-year tenure, President Mandle led RISD’s first comprehensive capital campaign, along with the effort to expand and reorient the college and museum toward downtown Providence. The Future by Design capital campaign raised a total of $105.46 million to increase funding for scholarships, academic and museum programs, and construction of the Chace Center, a mixed-use facility that opened in 2008. Earlier in his career, Mandle served as deputy director of the National Gallery of Art, director of the Toledo [OH] Museum of Art and associate director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

  • Thomas F. Schutte, 1983–1992

    Thomas F. Schutte, 1983–1992

    Thomas Schutte holds an MBA from Indiana University and a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Colorado/Boulder. He has spent the majority of his career in top leadership positions at art schools, serving as president of Philadelphia College of Art from 1975–83 and as president of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY since 1993. While at RISD, he oversaw a $20-million renovation and expansion of the college’s physical plant, along with the creation of an Academic Computing Center and the restructuring of finance and other administrative areas of operations.

  • Lee Hall, 1975–1983

    Lee Hall, 1975–1983

    A painter and professor, Lee Hall served as dean of Visual Arts at the State University of New York/Purchase before being appointed president. At RISD she is remembered for instituting the annual President’s Fellows Awards gala in New York City and for serving during a period of conflict and reform on campus that included a successful move by faculty to unionize. Hall maintained a painting studio at her farm in Lyme, CT and frequently exhibited her paintings at the Betty Parsons Gallery in NYC, where she became a partner after resigning from RISD in 1983.

RISD has a long history of offering Saturday and after-school classes for children and teens, as this photo from c. 1910 confirms.