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Merrion on international fine arts board

Nov. 14, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Margaret Merrion, dean of the College of Fine Arts at Western Michigan University, has been elected to the board of directors of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans.

Merrion, whose three-year term began earlier this month, has previously served on the board and was the council's president from 1998 to 2000. The council is a professional organization that provides leadership in arts education and serves as a forum for the advancement of the highest standards in the profession.

As dean of the College of Fine Arts, Merrion has overseen the development and ground breaking for the James and Lois Richmond Center for Visual Art, a $12 million, 45,000-square-foot facility for art exhitions and public programs scheduled for completion in 2006. She has initiated a number of efforts designed to involve the college in the community and vice versa, and she actively promotes the "College of Distinction" and its mission of "elevating the human condition through the arts."

Prior to coming to WMU in July 2000, Merrion served as dean of the College of Fine Arts and professor of music at Ball State University, a position she had held since 1990. She joined the Ball State faculty in 1986 as associate dean. Previously, she was a faculty member at the University of Northern Iowa for eight years, serving as assistant and associate professor, supervisor of clinical experiences and coordinator of undergraduate and graduate studies.

Merrion, who began her career as a music educator in the Chicago public and parochial schools, earned a bachelor's degree in music education from Chicago State University, and master's and doctoral degrees in music education from the University of Missouri at Columbia. She also completed Harvard University's management development program.

The author or co-author of five books, Merrion has written on such topics as instructional strategies for music education and creative drama and music activities for teachers. In addition to the International Council of Fine Arts Deans, she has been active with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the National Association of Schools of Music and the National Association for Schools of Art and Design.

Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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