Verna Golden Scott (Tenure 1919 – 1944)
Scott was the first director/programmer for what was then called the University Concert Course. Wife of University Department of Music Chairman, Scott was involved in organizing concerts for the dedication of Northrop Memorial Auditorium in 1929 and in persuading the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra to make its home in Northrop.
James S. Lombard (Tenure 1944-1969)
Lombard, head of Correspondence Study within General Extension was named director in 1944. With no previous education in the arts, Lombard quickly became a leader in presenting arts, and brought Northrop to the forefront. He established the Department of University Concerts and Lectures Bureau, which was responsible for all convocation speakers and special lectures, the UAC, and Lyceum programs.
Dr. Ross D. Smith (Tenure 1969-1985)
Smith, a former Director of Convocations and Lectures, and Theatre at Purdue University, was named Director of Northrop in 1969. A University professor emeritus of theater, he created the Northrop Dance Season in 1971, a program that has established itself as the leading dance presenter in the Twin Cities today.
Dale Schatzlein (Tenure 1985 – 2006)
Schatzlein, an avid arts and fitness activist, passed away unexpectedly in 2006. Schatzlein started the notable Northrop Jazz Season in 1986, a continued the legacy of bringing the best in dance to the Midwest. His loving life partner, Emily Maltz, continues to honor Schatzlein’s giving presence here at Northrop and in the Twin Cities community through the preservation of the arts.
Sally Dischinger (Tenure 2006-2008)
Dischinger served as Interim Director after Schatzlein’s unexpected passing. With tough shoes to fill, Dischinger was an integral key to keeping Northrop on its feet through the transition to finding the next Director of Northrop.
Ben Johnson (Tenure 2008-2012)
Johnson brought his fresh curatorial eye and a newfound energy to Northrop’s arts programming. Expanding the Jazz Season into an all-encompassing Music Season, and bringing in more dance performances for the Northrop Dance Season than ever, Johnson invigorated the season, supplementing the performances with enhanced community partnerships and involvement.
Christine Tschida (Tenure 2012-Present)
With prior careers as a dance agent and producer, Tschida was brought on as the Northrop revitalization project was coming to a close, to coordinate all of the activities of the Grand re-opening and the future vision of Northrop that integrates the strong international dance programming with the new academic connections Northrop will have with the University Honors Program, the Institute for Advance Study, and the School of Design’s Travelers Innovation Lab.