Commencement Ceremony 2014

On Monday, May 12, SAIC held its Commencement Ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of the 949 undergraduate and graduate students of the Class of 2014. The ceremony took place in Chicago's historic and beautiful Auditorium Theatre at 50 East Congress Parkway, just a few blocks from SAIC's campus, in Chicago’s South Loop.

Lisa Wainwright, Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs, gave a rousing introduction to celebrated artist, innovator, and community activator Theaster Gates, noting how his practice of turning creative thinking into fruitful realities in the public realm coincides with core educational goals at SAIC. After receiving an Honorary Doctorate recognizing his achievement in the arts and unwavering commitment to the city of Chicago, Gates delivered an inspiring Commencement speech to the newest generation of artists, designers, and cultural workers on the nuances of "greatness," suggesting that the trait is tied to excellence, discipline, humility, and care. "Artists should believe deeply in the things that we make and believe deeply in the things around us," he explained. "We should imagine ourselves as full citizens of the world."

Claudia Hart, Assistant Professor of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation introduced artist and lifelong friend of SAIC Ellen Sandor, a 2014 Honorary Doctorate recipient. Sandor is a pioneering Chicago-based new media artist whose work blending a collaborative practice of art, science, and technology has been used for medical applications and experimental visual research and has been featured prominently in international cultural institutions.

James Yood, Chair of New Arts Journalism at SAIC highlighted the acclaimed career of renowned art critic and architectural writer Franz Schulze, who received an Honorary Doctorate for more than 70 years of activity and innovation within the art scene. Schulze is an SAIC alumnus (MFA 1950), spent nearly 40 years as an art professor, and served as an art critic for numerous publications.