A Timeline of Triumph

  • Jeffrey Kimpton rehearses with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band prior to their March 10 concert.

For the past 14 years, Jeffrey Kimpton has served as the president of Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Under Kimpton’s tenure, Interlochen has grown exponentially in facility, program and prominence, reaffirming its role as one of the preeminent arts education institutions in the nation. As Kimpton prepares to retire from the presidency in mid-June, we take a look back at some of the notable events and accomplishments of his presidency. View an interactive timeline of Kimpton's presidency, or open the accordion section below to view a text version of the timeline.

View an interactive timeline of Kimpton's presidency

Jeffrey Kimpton's accomplishments, 2003-2017

July 2002: Ed Downing announces his intent to retire; search process begins for new president

July 19, 2003: Jeffrey Kimpton is unanimously elected as the seventh president of Interlochen Center for the Arts. He begins work on September 29, 2003, brings the six-year trademark lawsuit to a successful conclusion the next month, and eventually tours 26 U.S. cities and meets with thousands of alumni, parents, donors and partners. In January he initiated an intensive brand audit study which identifies key areas of perception and needed growth, provided pro-bono by Ogilvy Mather, the worldwide brand management agency.

Nov. 8, 2003: Jeffrey Kimpton is inaugurated as president of Interlochen Center for the Arts

2004: Summer programs changed in length from eight to six weeks
In response to changing public school artistic and academic obligations, overwhelming student and family research and declining enrollments, 2004 represents the final summer of an eight-week Camp. Camp 2005 offered new options in length and program for Intermediates and Juniors; additional special institutes and new programs were added over a ten year period and led to strong growth.

Summer 2005: Motion Picture Arts major created
The Motion Picture Arts major, founded in 2005 and first offered at Academy in the fall of the same year, was the first new major at Interlochen Center for the Arts since Creative Writing was added in 1975. Housed in a state-of-the-art facility and utilizing cutting-edge technology, the Motion Picture Arts curriculum brought Interlochen’s artistic offerings into the 21st century.

July 2005: Interlochen Public Radio expands to Mackinac City.
In March 2005, Interlochen Public Radio began working on expanding Classical IPR’s reach. By mid summer, WIAB was on-air through the Straits of Mackinac.

August 2005: Harvey Theatre addition is dedicated
The Harvey Theatre Addition expanded the Harvey Theatre into a full theatre complex, including a scene shop, rehearsal rooms and offices for theatre staff. The Mallory Costume Shop was added in 2006.

2005: Interlochen College of Creative Arts founded
Joseph Maddy always dreamed of extending Interlochen’s offerings to adult learners. In 2005, Interlochen College of Creative Arts was founded. Today nearly 1,000 adults take a wide variety of offerings in visual arts, music, creative writing, media and professional development.

April 4, 2006: Bonisteel Library dedicated
President Kimpton made it a priority to replace the existing academic library--sandwiched into a classroom rotunda--and the music library in the basement of Stone Hotel and Cafeteria, where water was dripping on what has been called “one of the ten best instrumental libraries in the world.” In 2006, the Jessie V. Stone gymnasium was cut in half horizontally and converted into a new academic and music library. The new Roscoe O. Bonisteel Library has over two linear miles of shelf space and is home to over 27,000 books and 95,000 musical scores. As a part of the conversion of the Jessie V. Stone building into the Bonisteel Library, The Shed was winterized to take its place as a year-round rehearsal space. Grunow Theatre was also renovated.

Spring 2006: Organ renovation
In late 2005, the 1948 Aeolian Skinner pipe organ housed in Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall began to fail. Organ students took President Kimpton on a crawl to see its condition, and as a result, he worked with the Development Office to raise the $500,000 for renovation. In spring of 2006, the Reuter Company rebuilt the Murphy Pipe Organ using the usable parts of the old Aeolian instrument and making new ones when old parts could not be found.The organ renovation was a testament to Interlochen’s continuing support of the program, which is the only program for high school organists in the country.

October 9, 2006: Interlochen awarded the National Medal of Arts
On October 9, 2006, former U.S. President George W. Bush awarded the National Medal of Arts--the nation’s highest artistic honor--to Interlochen Center for the Arts. The citation accompanying the medal read: "Since its founding, the Center has encouraged artistic expression, worked to bridge the barriers of language and culture, and helped promote international goodwill and understanding." President Kimpton represented Interlochen in the Oval Office ceremony, joined by trustee and student representatives for the dinner and lunch in the East Room ceremony following the presentation.

October 7, 2007: DeRoy Center for Film Studies dedicated
The first building at a high school in the United States solely dedicated to the study of film, the DeRoy Center for Film Studies gives Motion Picture Arts students 26,000 square feet of work and classroom space, including a sound stage, four editing suites, a 178-seat projection area, several classrooms and 24 dorm rooms.

Fall 2007: Diversity Initiative Begun
President Kimpton assembles a coalition of trustees, alumni, advocates and friends to increase access and participation by students of color. Over a ten-year period, domestic enrollment of students of color increases from 3 to between 6%, with international students reaching an historic high of 25% in 2017 IAA year.

February 2007/8: Guest Artist residencies begin
Martha Graham Dance Company and Interlochen celebrate their 80th anniversaries together in a week long residency and performance, the first of several President Kimpton created. Graham company dancers taught dances to IAA dance students, performing works alone and with IAA dance students, with IAA faculty and students in the orchestras. Additional residences with IAA students performing with the resident company included The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (2013), eighth blackbird (2015), and the New York Philharmonic (2016 and 2017).

Fall 2008: Dow Center for the Visual Arts opens
The 36,000 square foot Dow Center for the Visual Arts provides studio spaces for the study of ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture, digital arts, metalsmithing, printmaking, fiber arts and more. In addition, it is home to a professional-calibre gallery for exhibitions of works by students, faculty and visiting artists. Additional buildings have since been added to the visual arts complex: the Herlitz Painting Studios (2012), which hosts junior visual artists during Camp and seniors during Academy, and the Hurst Ceramics Building in 2015.

Fall 2009: Comparative Arts major is announced
The Comparative Arts major was developed for students who have interests in multiple artforms. The program emphasizes the relationships between artforms and offers opportunities for interdisciplinary projects. The major was first offered in the 2010-11 Academy year.

May 6, 2010: First Future of Cinema Film Festival opens
The Future of Cinema Film Festival was created in 2010 as a place where young filmmakers are the focus, not the afterthought. The festival includes master classes, panel discussions and film screenings designed to help young filmmakers learn more about the film industry and network with peers and professionals. Since 2010, the festival has hosted notable guests such as Michael Moore, Doug Stanton, Norman Lear, Ken Burns and Jeff Wozniak.

July 2010: Mallory-Towsley Center for Arts Leadership
In 2010, the old design and production space and former costume shop of Phoenix Theatre was renovated and converted into the beautiful Mallory-Towsley Center for Arts Leadership, a conference center with meeting and classroom space for the Interlochen College of Creative Arts.

August 2010: IPR News radio launches WLMN
Interlochen Public Radio expands its coverage to the West Michigan shoreline areas near Ludington and Manistee.

Spring 2011:Interlochen Public Radio expands coverage throughout Emmet County.
IPR News Radio begins operating its third signal--WHBP. Expanding coverage throughout Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix and the Mackinaw City area.

June 1, 2011: Shanghai Conservatory, School for the Arts partnerships announced
In 2011, Interlochen partnered with two Asia-based arts institutions for an international collaboration. Interlochen opened the collaboration in September, sending ten students and two instructors to the School for the Arts in Singapore for a two-week residency. A month later, in October, the Shanghai Conservatory sent students and faculty to Interlochen. The exchange has continued for several years, and expanded to schools in Australia and France as well as arts boarding high schools in the U.S.

Summer 2011: Upton-Morley Pavilion completed
In order to alleviate congestion on the Kresge, Interlochen Bowl, and Corson stages and meet the increasing demand for more performance opportunities, another outdoor venue, the Upton-Morley Pavilion was constructed. The 500 seat, open-air performance space is best known as the home of the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival and is named after its two primary donors.

Summer 2011: Singer-Songwriter and Rock Programs debut at Interlochen Arts Camp
In response to the ever-evolving nature of music, Jeffrey Kimpton and the music department created two new Camp programs, singer-songwriter and rock, to appeal to a different demographic of young artists. In 2012, the singer-songwriter Camp program evolved into an Academy major, and in 2017, a group of Academy singer-songwriters opened for Bon Jovi.

May 2012: IAA Celebrates its 50th anniversary
President Kimpton insisted that the 50th anniversary of IAA was an important milestone. Kimpton raised nearly $750,000 from the Dow Foundation to pay for a 50-year anniversary celebration, and oversaw the creation of U.S. tours by almost every Interlochen Arts Academy student in every arts discipline over a semester-long period. Special publications, a digital 50th anniversary yearbook, new concourse displays were created in honor of the occasion, and a four-day alumni reunion during graduation week brought more than 1000 alumni and their families back to campus for visits, performances and special events. In Fall 2012, a national symposium on the future of the arts celebrated the next 50 years of Interlochen Arts Academy and what it must lead, bringing 30 guest presenters, speakers and performers and hundreds of guests from around the country to campus.

February 4, 2013: Logan Arts Leadership Institute created
The Logan Art Leadership Institute was designed by President Jeffrey Kimpton to introduce arts leadership concepts to younger generations of artists. To meet the needs, interests and skills of young artists, LALI was designed primarily as an online course, with optional on-site components. Since 2013, hundreds have taken the course, with over 100 young arts leaders completing all the requirements. President Kimpton taught an arts leadership seminar to seniors each year since 2005, during Inter*mester, and as an elective during Camp starting in 2012.

Summer 2013: Junior Musical Theatre program launched
The Junior Musical Theatre program, the first six-week program for junior campers, was launched in 2013 to give students grades 3-6 a solid foundation in singing, dancing and acting. The debut production of the Junior Musical Theatre program was Dear Edwina, which was written by Interlochen alumna Marcy Heisler.

Summer 2013: Interlochen Public Radio adds a new frequency, 94.7 FM
A new signal was launched in conjunction with IPR’s 50th anniversary in an effort to improve reception of Classical IPR throughout Traverse City.

December 3, 2013: New Junior Camp programs unveiled
After the success of the new Junior Musical Theatre program, three more new programs for junior campers--visual arts, motion picture arts and dance--were created for Camp 2014.

2015: Named one of the 41 Most Innovative K-12 Schools in the nation
Noodle, a leading educational website, selected Interlochen Arts Academy as one of its 41 Most Innovative K-12 Schools in America in 2015. This is just one of many innovation accolades Interlochen Arts Academy received in the past few years; it has twice been named an Apple Distinguished Program and continues to be on the cutting edge of educational technology.

March 2015: Kimpton announces retirement in June 2017
Jeffrey Kimpton announced his intention to retire from the presidency at the 14 year mark, giving the trustees two years to seek a successor. A search committee of trustees and alumni scoured the United States for a suitable replacement for President Kimpton. In October 2016, Trey Devey was selected as Kimpton’s successor.

Spring 2016: A new tower increases IPR’s reach in Emmet County
Work began in October 2015, and launched in 2016. This new tower helps IPR better serve the northern counties, Beaver Island and the eastern half of the upper peninsula.

June 5, 2016: NY Phil Biennial
In late 2015, the New York Philharmonic invited the Interlochen Arts Academy orchestra to participate in their second-ever NY Phil Biennial, a showcase of only contemporary music. The Arts Academy was the only high school selected to participate in the festival, and the only high school to perform on a Philharmonic subscription series. The IAA performed four new commissioned works at David Geffen Hall to international acclaim on June 5, 2016. Members of the Academy Dance Ensemble accompanied the orchestra to perform Christopher Williams’ original choreography to Nico Muhly’s “So Far, So Good,” the first time dancers had been presented on the stage of Geffen Hall.

July 25, 2016: CREATE AMAZING: The Campaign for Interlochen
CREATE AMAZING: The Campaign for Interlochen was the first large-scale capital campaign at Interlochen in over a decade. The campaign’s goal was to prepare Interlochen for its second century as a leader in the arts through new funds for program support, scholarships, special programs, and the construction of Interlochen’s first-ever unified home for the Music Program.

August 2016: Waterfront revitalization
In August 2016, Interlochen Center for the Arts received a generous donation from long-time supporters, the Corson family. The donation, given in memory of Dorthy S. Corson, was designated for the revitalization of the Green Lake waterfront. The revitalization began in late 2016 and will include barrier-free access, a lighted promenade, a lakeside cafe and more.

August 2016: Fashion Design major announced
As a result of the huge success of the Experimental Fashion elective for Visual Arts majors, Interlochen unveiled a new major in Fashion Design. The major will be offered for the first time as a Camp major in 2017.

October 14, 2016: Dow Math and Science Rotunda renovation unveiled
Thanks to the generosity of the R.B. Annis Foundation, the Dow Math and Science Rotunda underwent extensive renovation before the 2016-17 academic year began. Each instructor was allowed to design their own cutting-edge space; the department also received new equipment. The Foundation’s gift also included funding for the construction of a greenhouse and botanical lab, which will be completed in the spring of 2017. A previous program endowment from the Annis Foundation provides support for guest lecturers and special visitors, student and and faculty travel and research, and scholarships.

October 21, 2016: Dennison Center for Recreation and Wellness dedicated
The Dennison Center for Recreation and Wellness was made possible by the generous donation of longtime Interlochen friend and trustee Lee Dennison, who passed away in 2012. The new 23,000-foot space includes a gymnasium, rock climbing wall, studio, fitness and game rooms and conference room.

May 12, 2017: Groundbreaking for the new Music Building
The currently-unnamed Music Building broke ground on May 12 and will provide 65,000 square feet of practice space for Interlochen’s musicians. The completed space will connect the Frolich Piano and Percussion Building to Corson Auditorium and will contain two large rehearsal rooms, nine ensemble rooms, 25 teaching studios, 12 practice rooms, two recording studios and more.

June 12, 2017: Trey Devey begins work at Interlochen as the 8th President
As Kimpton leaves the presidency, he also leaves several monumental fiscal improvements for his successor, Trey Devey. Under Kimpton’s presidency, scholarship funds increased 107%, salaries increased 66%, the endowment increased from $25M to $127M, and the campaign for Interlochen, CREATE AMAZING, had exceeded expectations.

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