May 17, 2021
Tina Bjarekull, president emerita of the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA), was conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by McDaniel College’s Board of Trustees. The presentation took place May 15 during the board’s annual spring meeting.
“Bjarekull served as president of MICUA for 17 years before retiring in 2019. In this role, she was “the name, the face and the voice of private, nonprofit higher education in Maryland” and an advocate for ensuring access to quality education for Maryland students.”
Under her leadership, she established the Guaranteed Access Partnership Program (GAPP) to bridge the financial gap for economically disadvantaged Maryland students at MICUA member institutions. She also was a champion of the Sellinger Program, the state grant program for eligible, nonprofit private colleges, and was the managing director of the Independent College Fund for Maryland (I-Fund).
She also served as the chair of the National Association of Independent Colleges and University State Executives (NAICUSE) and was a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).
Bjarekull obtained a Master of Business Administration from Loyola University Maryland and went on to work as a senior policy analyst at the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, where she became involved with the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee. She was later named the deputy superintendent for finance at the Maryland State Department of Education and assistant secretary of finance at the Maryland Higher Education Commission before becoming president of MICUA.