Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Council of Trustees today approved the naming of a space in the IUP Performing Arts Center in honor of dean emeritus Michael Hood.

Hood retired in 2018 after serving as dean of the College of Fine Arts (now the College of Arts and Humanities) for 20 years.

The Council of Trustees honored Hood in May 2019 with the naming of the dean’s suite in the College of Fine Arts’ Sprowls Hall. This resolution, made at Hood’s request, changes the space named in his honor to a rehearsal studio in the IUP Performing Arts Center.

The resolution recognizes Hood as a “consummate educator, champion of all artistic disciplines, renowned theater professional, and proponent of cultural enrichment” who “worked to maintain, to improve, and to establish first-class pedagogical arts programs that have had a profound impact on the region.”

Today’s resolution also noted that family, friends, and colleagues “have made philanthropic commitments in his honor” and that Hood and his late wife Kitty Hood, “have made their own generous gifts to IUP.”

While dean, Hood was responsible for oversight of the transformation of Waller Hall and Fisher Auditorium into the Performing Art Center; the renovation of Cogswell Hall; IUP becoming an all-Steinway School; the establishment of the IUP Community Music School; the creation of the Wood Center; and the addition of the Pogorzelski-Yankee memorial organ to the IUP campus. He has been an active proponent and participant in the direction and development of IUP’s University Museum.

During his tenure, IUP was selected as host for the 2018 Pennsylvania Governor’s Awards for the Arts. It was the first time that the awards ceremony was held on a college campus, and the event touched off a celebration of the arts in the greater Indiana community that included performances, art exhibits, and activities at downtown cultural venues.

He participated frequently as a mentor in the Association for Theater in Higher Education Leadership Institute and for the National Association for Schools of Theater, as a member and board member of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans, and as member and former president of the National Theatre Conference.

In 2014, Hood became an American Theatre Fellow. Investiture in the College of Fellows of the American Theatre is one of the highest honors bestowed upon educators and professionals of the theater. He has served as guest and featured artist for productions throughout the United States and abroad in Indonesia and China.

Hood has been active in the local and regional communities, serving as a member of the board of the Indiana Arts Council, as president of the Indiana Rotary Club, and as member of the board of Artworks and Bottle Works in Johnstown. He has twice been a finalist for the Indiana County Civic Leader Award and was the Indiana Rotary Rotarian of the Year in 2016.

Hood was not able to attend the meeting, but offered the following statement:

“I accept with gratitude this new naming resolution. While I served as IUP’s dean of the College of Fine Arts, one of my chief joys was found in teaching aspiring actors. The rehearsal studio serving both Fisher Auditorium and Waller Hall was home to my classes in Combat for the Stage during my final years at IUP and as such has a very special place in my memory and my heart. Thank you so very much for this honor.”

Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities Curt Scheib accepted the resolution on Hood’s behalf.