Lucinda S. Lavelli

Lucinda S. Lavelli, 1972

B.A., Denison University
MBA, Case Western Reserve University
M.F.A., Case Western Reserve University

Higher Education Administrator

Gainesville, Fla.

Lucinda Lavelli is professor and dean emerita of the University of Florida College of the Arts. Fondly referred to as “Wonder Woman of the Arts,” Lucinda is a national and international leader who has dedicated her career to advancing the arts. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Denison in 1972, and she holds both a master’s degree in nonprofit management and a Master of Fine Arts degree in theater arts and dance from Case Western Reserve University, from which she received the Professional Achievement Alumni Award.

From 1981 until 1993, Lucinda worked as chairwoman of performing arts and director of dance at Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. In 1993, she was named director of the School of Dance, then director of the School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration at the University of Akron, where she served until 2002. In 2002, Lucinda became provost and vice chancellor for arts and academics at North Carolina School of the Arts, where she worked until 2006.

That same year, the University of Florida College of the Arts named Lucinda its dean, where she became the first woman to fill that position. She served in that role until her retirement in 2018. In this capacity, Lucinda oversaw baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs with approximately 1,100 majors and 100 faculty members across three institutionally accredited schools — the School of Art + Art History, School of Music, and School of Theatre + Dance, along with three other institutes.

Among other accomplishments, Lucinda launched a creative cross-campus initiative to join other major universities in recognizing the arts as catalysts for creativity and innovation. She has presented nationally and internationally on the topic, and through her advocacy, the University of Florida was a founding institution for the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities.

As a student at Denison, Lucinda was a residence hall leader and was active in WDUB, Bonds of Friendship, and the study abroad program in Florence, Italy. She was also integrally involved with the creation of a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance. Since graduating from Denison, Lucinda has served as a career advisor and participated in her Reunion Gift Committee. She has been a consistent supporter of the university.

Lucinda remains involved in various community organizations, boards, and arts nonprofits. She lives in Gainesville, Fla., with her husband, Kenneth Webster, a retired physician.