Dr. Nathaniel Gatlin (Founder)            Chair-Virginia State University

Dr. Evelyn A. Johnson (Founder)         Elizabeth City State University

Dr. Albert Grauer (Founder)                 Chair-Saint Augustine’s College


The Intercollegiate Music Association (IMA) was founded in 1960 as a vehicle for enriching and enhancing the development of the students of its member institutions. For over forty-five years, IMA has enhanced the overall ethos of music performance and education for some of the most significant historically black colleges and universities located on the east coast. The founders of the Association include Dr. Evelyn Johnson, Dr. Albert Grauer, & Dr. Nathaniel Gatlin. The founders believed that the IMA could present an opportunity for cooperative, non-competitive activities among the students who attended colleges and universities in the then, CIAA athletic conference. As the principle leader in the development of IMA, Dr. Gatlin believed that there should exist a program that inspired mutual improvement, growth, cooperation, and respect in the musical arts among students and faculty within these conference institutions. Through their collective efforts, immeasurable human, artistic and academic values would accrue. The first conference occurred May 11-13, 1962 at Elizabeth City State University.