The Maryland Institute College of Art announced Wednesday that it has received a $10 million gift, the largest in its history, which will be used to expand graduate programs and research.

The gift was bestowed by longtime college trustee George L. Bunting Jr. and his wife, Anne Bunting.

"Once again, George and Anne have redefined what true leadership can do to propel the college ahead," said Michael Franco, the college's vice president of advancement. "Not only was Mr. Bunting instrumental in helping MICA see the important role of graduate study in its future, he and his wife also stepped forward with this wonderful gift of endowment to help ensure the college will have the necessary resources to pursue this path."

MICA officials said the gift will allow the college to supply more scholarship money and better technology to graduate students. They said it will also allow MICA to develop broader relationships with visiting artists and community organizations.

The college hopes to increase its graduate enrollment more than 60 percent by the end of the decade and to nearly double the number of graduate programs it offers.

Gunalan Nadarajan, the college's vice provost in charge of research and graduate studies, said the gift will help MICA meet those goals.

"I am excited about the opportunity the Buntings' gift provides to integrate MICA's twin strategic imperatives of graduate studies and research," Nadarajan said in a statement.

George Bunting is president of Bunting Management Group and was formerly chairman and CEO of Noxell Corp., which was founded by his grandfather.

He served on the college's board of trustees for more than three decades. The family's name appears on a building that houses the college's library and offices of student services.

childs.walker@baltsun.com

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