Happy Craven Fernandez will step down as president of Moore College of Art & Design when the class of 2012 graduates, the college announced Monday. Fernandez become the 163-year-old institution's ninth president in 1999.
Moore, the nation's first and only arts college for women, two years ago inaugurated co-educational degree programs. Under Fernandez it also built a graduate program and two new undergraduate majors, the nation's first in curatorial studies, and one in photography and digital arts. She also led the college's first capital campaign, which raised $30 million.
Moore's board of managers will appoint a committee by the end of June to assist it in its search for Fernandez's successor. The college expects to make an announcement next spring.
Fernandez served two terms as an at-large member of City Council in the 1990s and in 1999 was the first woman to seek the Democratic nomination for mayor. She taught for 18 years at the School of Social Administration at Temple University.
Of her decision to leave Moore next year, she said in a statement, "I feel it is the right time to make this transition with the College in such a strong position. … I have focused on growth and innovation to enable Moore to become an even more vibrant educational and cultural institution."