On Friday, May 15, SVA’s class of 2009 was joined by family, friends and other guests for the College’s 34th annual commencement exercises. More than 5,000 audience members gathered at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan as President David Rhodes conferred 806 degrees upon candidates from 16 departments.
Two students took to the podium to represent their fellow graduates. Sean Hannon (BFA 2009 Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects) talked about the enthusiasm and support this year’s class required in order to stay focused while in the midst of global fiscal troubles, while Joanna Nebrosky (MFA 2009 Illustration as Visual Essay) used a humorous story about her great-uncle Ralph to examine the “creative solitude” needed by today’s artists to nurture their craft and vision.
President Rhodes then addressed the graduating students, speaking of the power of images to clarify the world around us and the Class of 2009’s responsibility to be key players in that process. The president concluded his speech by marking the transitional nature of the day: “Enjoy the last day of your old life. Tomorrow you will begin anew.” Keynote speaker Robert Caro, an eminent political historian best known for his biographies of Lyndon Johnson and Robert Moses, drew parallels between art and politics, noting that, “Art can do for politics what it can do for everything else: throw new light on it.”
Images: (top) Graduation students at Radio City Music Hall; (bottom) keynote speaker Robert Caro. Photos by Joe Sinnott.