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Moore's Commencement Speaker Tells 2020 Grads to "Dream a New World, Then Build It"

By Mellany Armstrong

Moore celebrated its Class of 2020 with a virtual Commencement May 16, with graduates sitting at home watching on their computers instead of walking across a stage to receive their diplomas.

But the grads were lauded for their resilience in completing their classwork that was cut short on campus by a worldwide pandemic.

"As graduates in this uncertain time, you have navigated new ways of working and learning with grace and determination," said Moore President Cecelia Fitzgibbon. "You have sacrificed the full experience of part of your final term with us to aid the greater good and look out for one another. I cannot emphasize enough what an accomplishment it is for you to complete your studies under such extraordinary circumstances."


Moore College of Art & Design 2020 Commencement Ceremony

Valedictorian Emily Frizzelle told her classmates it's ok if they weren't feeling especially creative right now.

"It’s been a tough semester, but do what you can and look to the future." she said. "You will make it to the other side, stronger than you were before."

Honorary Degree recipient Ruby Lerner, founding Executive Director of Creative Capital, an innovative arts foundation that adapts venture capital concepts to support individual artists, was this year's Commencement speaker. 

Lerner told the graduating class that the spring of 2020 eerily reminded her of her own gradation from Goucher College, in 1970, when the United States invaded Cambodia, protesters were gunned down at Kent State University, and a nationwide student strike shut down 450 colleges, universities and high schools.

"How will [you] respond to the many challenges that lie ahead?" she asked. "It is your generation that will be charged with inventing our new world.

"You have the entire history and current practice of the arts and design worlds to inspire you," she continued. "If you ever thought that what you were studying was merely an abstraction, this moment should reveal how practical that knowledge actually is.  There is no structure in society that will not need to be re-designed.  The training you have received here has ignited your artistic and cultural imaginations.  Now, that training will also be needed to help fuel our collective civic imagination as well.

"Dream a new world.  And then, go build it."

Moore plans to hold an in-person graduation ceremony this fall.


Published on June 16th, 2020