Moore College’s Claudine Thomas Shares a Peek Inside Her Creative World

The school’s new chief academic officer and academic dean loves Stevie Wonder, Abbott Elementary, and when she gets her four kids out the door on time. 

claudine thomas moore college art design

Claudine Thomas, chief academic officer and academic dean of Moore College of Art & Design / Photography by Jauhien Sasnou

As the chief academic officer and academic dean of Moore College of Art & Design since January, Claudine Thomas is surrounded by creativity. She’s planning out the next five to 10 years and looking for ways to innovate to meet students’ needs. The passion for art extends to her home life, too — the Montco mother of four is penning a work of young-adult historical fiction. Here’s what else inspires her.

At Home

Claudine Thomas moore college art design

Claudine Thomas’s engagement ring

Beloved jewelry: My engagement ring, an antique piece from 1921. My husband says it suits my “old soul.”

What I wear every day: Earrings.

Top hobby: Cross-stitching mimics the joy of coloring in childhood but slows down the creative process long enough for me to escape into my imagination.

Hair essential: SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie.

Pets: Two cats: Lily, a slightly anxious tortie, and Pepper, a slightly deaf tabby.

Favorite musician: Stevie Wonder. My parents played Stevie on repeat during road trips, at barbecues, and for living room dance parties.

Currently reading: The Johnstown Flood, by David McCullough, and Steering the Craft, by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Currently bingeing: Abbott Elementary.

Morning ritual: If all my kids are out the door on time, it’s a great morning.

On the Job

Why I love my job: I get to work with faculty and staff who are dedicated to creative art and design practice and invested in helping students reach success.

Personal touch: My daughter’s painting created during the pandemic hangs in my office.

claudine thomas moore college art design

A cross-stich created by Claudine Thomas

I admire: Toni Morrison. The Bluest Eye was the first book I ever read and felt seen by. Her ability to craft poignant stories about race, gender and class while also finding moments to write that were squeezed in between working and motherhood is more than admirable.

Next business trip: I’m going to the Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design symposium in Cincinnati this fall, where I’ll converge with students, educators and administrators from around the country.

On the Go

Best bookstore: Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books.

Place for gifts: The Art Shop at Moore College of Art & Design, for handmade pieces from students and alumni.

The Art Shop at Moore College of Art & Design

Recent splurge: Tickets to see several shows at the Kimmel Center.

Go-to restaurant: West Avenue Grille in Jenkintown, for the Famous Mile-High challah French toast.

Favorite beer spot: Fergie’s Pub. But I’m a dry-cider girl.

Yearly trip: Fenwick Island in Delaware. Unwinding with family and friends is something I look forward to.

Fenwick Island / Photograph by Kenneth Keifer/iStock/Getty Images

Published as “Connoisseur: Art Class” in the June 2023 issue of Philadelphia magazine.