Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

The 2022 Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients will be announced in early Spring 2022.

Commencement Speaker and Honorary Doctorate Recipient 2021

Howardena Pindell

(Commencement Speaker) alum of Boston University and Yale University, is a multidisciplinary artist and former associate curator and acting director in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at the Museum of Modern Art and a current professor at Stony Brook University, where she began teaching in 1979. Most recently, Pindell’s work appeared in. We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 at the Brooklyn Museum, New York. Her 2018 retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Howardena Pindell: What Remains to Be Seen traveled to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2018) and the Rose Art Museum (2019). Pindell’s work is in the permanent collections of major museums internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the National Gallery of Art; and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, among many others.

Honorary Doctorate Recipients

Senga Nengudi

Acclaimed, Chicago-born interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes sculpture, installations, and performance. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and former lecturer at the University of Colorado Springs, Nengudi has received many awards including the CAA Distinguished Feminist Award–Visual Art, the Bonfil-Stanton Foundation Leadership Award, the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award, and more. With artwork featured in exhibits around the globe, Nengudi’s ephemeral practice, influenced by her African and African American heritage, insists on responding to the moment

Trevor Paglen

(MFA 2002) is an artist who borrows from a wide range of disciplines including sculpture, image-making, celestial mechanics, open-source intelligence, photography, human geography, semiotics, computer vision, and much more. The goal of his work is simple: to learn to see the historical moment and to imagine alternative futures. Paglen has had residencies at Artpace San Antonio and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his honors include the MacArthur Fellowship, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, the Aperture West Prize, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art SECA Art Award, an Art Matters grant, and an Artadia grant. His work has appeared in major exhibitions at Creative Time, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and the Taipei Biennial, among many others.