Chestertown, MD, March 20, 2006 — Washington College has announced the appointment of Donald A. McColl, associate professor of art, as the first Nancy L. Underwood Professor of Art History. The endowed professorship was established through a $1 million gift from Chestertown resident and friend of the College, John Underwood, on behalf of his late wife, Nancy L. Underwood, who took a life-long pleasure in the study of art and art history. The gift was matched by The Hodson Trust to create a $2 million endowment.
"We in the Department of Art are humbled that John and Nancy Underwood have seen fit to bestow such a gift on the College, and think it appropriate that the newly endowed chair in art is named for a woman," Dr. McColl said.
"It was Miss Peale—presumably Elizabeth Peale, the sister-in-law of Charles Willson Peale—who first taught drawing and painting at the College, soon after its founding; it was another woman, Constance Stuart Larrabee, who launched the Friends of the Arts, and led the way in giving art a permanent home at the College; and now, it's yet another woman, Nancy Underwood, whose generosity will ensure a bright future for our department, and most importantly the students in it, by helping to attract and retain faculty of the highest quality."
Dr. McColl joined the faculty of Washington College in 1997 after receiving his Ph.D. in art history from the University of Virginia, and completing postdoctoral study at Northwestern University, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He holds a B.A. in art history and criticism from the University of Western Ontario (1986) and an M.A. in art history from Oberlin College (1992). His professional research focuses on the visual culture of northern Europe in the early modern period and on late antique/early Christian art and archaeology, and he is currently working on a book titled Troubled Waters: To See the Samaritan Woman in Reformation Europe.
The recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, Dr. McColl was recently awarded a 2006 Summer Fellowship in Byzantine Studies at Harvard University's Dumbarton Oaks Library and Research Collection in Washington, DC. In 2000 he was honored with the Washington College Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching. He and his wife, Ann, live in Chestertown where they are active in historic preservation.
Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.