Class of 2020 remarks by Chair Deborah Willis, Ph.D.

Congratulations to the class of 2020.

Welcome Dean Green, graduates, faculty, parents, relatives and friends to the Tisch Salute. When this semester began, I had an opportunity to see Show I student work and follow the in-production work of Show II students.  Standing here today, in this unprecedented time in our lives, I am immensely glad that I saw all the projects in December. 

This graduation ceremony today is presented in a unique format so that we can celebrate what you have achieved – a BFA in Photography and Imaging. We are here to honor you as the next generation of critical thinkers, with wide ranging, global knowledge, and diverse, cross-cultural engagements--you are our 2020 vision! You come from 5 continents, 9 countries, 12 states in the US, and 5 provinces in China. We have represented within this tightknit class of 40 individuals the US, the UK, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, and China, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan. Our US students come from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington State – from small towns and big cities alike.

Your contributions toward making a difference in the world are crucial: we need your insights, imaginations, and voices to continue to build and reinvent art, culture and community beyond this global pandemic. I hope this time will soon pass and help us move forward with compassion.

Art is about action -- about creating new experiences. Continue to reimagine our world. Please give your families a round of applauds for all they’ve given and sacrificed to get you here.

We are all responsible for our future, which we have to bring about through our art and actions. I am happy to see you in video light, but look forward to seeing you and your art in the sunlight and on the other side of this.

Will Katie McGowan step into the frame to receive a symbolic diploma on behalf of your classmates?