President Cathy Young

Incoming Moore President Cathy Young

Cathy Young is the 11th president of Moore College of Art & Design. She brings more than 35 years of experience as a choreographer, arts educator, academic leader, and entrepreneurial artist to her role at the nation's first and only historically all-women's college for art and design.

Young grew up on a farm in a central Pennsylvania coal mining town. She earned her BA in sociology and women’s studies magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she was first exposed to dance as an art form, falling in love with its physicality, communicative power and ability to create community. Young spent the next 20 years building a national and international career as a dancer, choreographer, artistic director and dance educator. She earned her MFA in dance at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and became a tenured associate professor of dance at Ursinus College, where she cofounded the dance program, and chaired the theater and dance department.

From 2011–2017, Young led the dance division at Boston Conservatory as dean. Under her leadership, the division became recognized as the top contemporary dance program in the United States, thanks to her emphasis on diversity, innovation, collaboration and community, and a revamped, forward-thinking curriculum designed to prepare students for 21st-century entrepreneurial dance careers. In 2017, Young was named to the dual role of senior vice president of Berklee and executive director of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, following a national search to replace the former president. She led the Conservatory through a highly complex merger with Berklee College of Music and developed a strategic plan, leading to enrollment growth; increased scholarship support for students; enhanced diversity across students, faculty and staff; and academic innovation, with an emphasis on technology and digital access.

Since Young’s arrival at Moore in summer 2022, the College has received press attention for its groundbreaking approach to art and design education for talented women, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming students from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Business Journal and elsewhere, and Young was named a 2023 Woman of Influence by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Young and her senior colleagues have welcomed several regional leaders to Moore’s campus, including First Lady of Pennsylvania Lori Shapiro, Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Joanna McClinton, Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker  and Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes; spearheaded a student exhibition in 2023 at the Governor’s Mansion; secured a prestigious Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant from the Commonwealth’s Office of the Budget toward the completion of Moore’s state-of-the-art VAULT educational space; and enhanced student enrollment and retention numbers. She is currently leading a new strategic direction process that will set the tone for the College’s work through 2030, with an anticipated rollout of the final plan in late spring 2024.


Photo by Dave Rizzio.