Meet the Visionary | Towson University

The Dr. Nancy Grasmick Leadership Institute exemplifies and embodies Dr. Nancy S.
Grasmick’s lifelong commitment to leadership and education. Her passion, conviction
and values are the inspiration for the leadership institute that bears her name. 

Throughout her personal leadership journey, Dr. Grasmick has had “a seat at the table”
for important decisions affecting our region across all sectors and industries. Through
her continued work and service, she has shaped many of our region’s most important
institutions and organizations—demonstrating the power and impact a dedicated, innovative
and focused leader can have.

Leadership always matters. There are no great organizations without great leadership.

Dr. Nancy Grasmick

Fueling the future of leadership

When TU embarked on the journey to explore a leadership institute, we could not have
anticipated the challenges our state, region, nation and the world would encounter.
2020 underscored the demand for forward-thinking, visionary leaders far beyond our
original expectations. At this critical moment, we are asking others to join us in
challenging the status quo of leadership development.

Private philanthropy generously provided by Dr. Grasmick has been instrumental in
the research and development of the Institute. Philanthropy will continue to shape
the Dr. Nancy Grasmick Leadership Institute and allow individuals, institutions and
organizations to thrive in our ever-changing world. Your contributions will:

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  • Fuel the launch and long-term success of the Institute and ensure a laser-focus on stakeholders,
    current events and emerging trends that shape leadership development. 
  • Help organizations and institutions harness the collective leadership of the next generation
    to solve complex challenge and successfully navigate an ever-changing world. 
  • Honor Dr. Grasmick’s powerful legacy of leadership and propel the Institute forward to achieve
    an ambitious vision. 
  • Ensure resources are in place to identify, attract, hire and retain experts with the capacity
    to launch and deliver groundbreaking and impactful research and programming.

Support the Future of Leadership

Founding investments are critical to the launch and ongoing success of the Institute.
Your gift will make a difference in the lives of many—the scholars who research and
teach, the leaders who aspire to learn and grow, and all those who are positively
impacted as a result.

Join Dr. Grasmick and support the future of leadership development with a founding
investment. For more information, contact Brian DeFilippis, Vice President for University
Advancement, at bdefilippis AT_TOWSON.

About Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick

Dr. Grasmick’s pioneering leadership story began when she suffered temporary deafness
as a teenager. Inspired by Helen Keller, she devoted her life to education. After
graduating from Baltimore’s Western High School, she earned degrees from Towson University,
Gallaudet University and Johns Hopkins University. 

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Early in her career, Dr. Grasmick taught deaf children, and her leadership journey
continued as a classroom and resource teacher, principal, supervisor, assistant superintendent,
and associate superintendent in Baltimore County Public Schools. She later became
the state’s first female superintendent of the Maryland Department of Education, a
position she held for 20 years until her retirement. Under Dr. Grasmick’s leadership,
Maryland’s schools were propelled to No. 1 in the nation.

Dr. Grasmick has received numerous awards for her visionary leadership, both at the
local and national levels. In 2011, she was inducted into The Daily Record’s “Circle of Influence,” recognizing her as a “Most Influential Marylander.” In 2012,
she became TU’s first Presidential Scholar and, in 2016, she was inducted as an honoree into the Baltimore Sun’s Business and Civic Leader Hall of Fame.

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