Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients
(Commencement Speaker) Angelique Power is president and chief executive officer of The Skillman Foundation. Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago by a white, Jewish mother who was a Chicago Public School teacher and an African American father who was a Chicago police officer, Power has an intense passion for catalyzing new ways of thinking about racial justice and systems change. Prior to The Skillman Foundation, Power was president of the Chicago-based Field Foundation where she helped the organiation center racial justice, changing how and who it funds through its grant-making and investment portfolio. Under her leadership, the Field Foundation funded BIPOC artists, organizers, journalists, and storytellers. Power also co-founded Enrich Chicago, an organization dedicated to anti-racism organizing, and helped to found Just Action, a collaborative focused on helping institutions make their 2020 racial equity statements real. She chairs the board of 6018North and sits on the board of the Julian Grace Foundation. Power has a master of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Michigan. She lives in the Detroit area with her husband Sean and their 12-year-old daughter, Sadie Louisiane.
George E. Lewis
George E. Lewis, Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, is an American composer, musicologist, computer-installation artist, and trombonist. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Lewis is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and a member of the Akademie der Künst Berlin. Other honors include the Doris Duke Award (2019), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), and a MacArthur Fellowship (2002). His music is performed worldwide, and he is widely regarded as a pioneer in the creation of improvising computer programs. He is the author of A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press) and co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies. Lewis holds honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh, New College of Florida, and Harvard University.
One of the foremost contemporary artists in Korea today, Lee Bul creates works that reflect her philosophical exploration of 20th-century cultural history. Exploring issues ranging from societal gender roles and the perceived failure of idealism to the relatonship between humans and technology, she produces genre-crossing works rooted in critical theory, art history, and themes from science fiction. Bul was academically trained in sculpture but her interest quickly diversified into other techniques including performance art. Through her mesmerizing installations, she investigates how visionary narratives and notions of progress affect the way our world is structured in both the present and future.