Moore College of Art & Design officially welcomed its newest students at the Fall Convocation and picnic, held on a beautiful, warm and sunny Thursday, August 22.

The Class of 2023, plus transfer and graduate students, filed into Graham Auditorium to loud applause from faculty, staff and alumni.

"Study hard, do all of your work, be inspired," President Cecelia Fitzgibbon said to the first-year students. "Show up and engage. We cannot imagine a world without ideas and art, so put those ideas to work by being active, intellectually curious citizens."

Dean of Students Joshua Wilkin gave some statistics about the newest class of Moore students:

  • There are approximately 140 new students from 18 States as well as students from Trinidad and Tobago, Dubai, France, Italy and China.
  • One spent the summer in South Africa on a cheetah reserve working on conservation efforts.
  • One has a YouTube channel with over 60,000 subscribers.
  • One plays the Ukulele.
  • And, one student has a self-published web comic with over 300,000 views.

The new students also heard from Student Government President Makaela Ramirez-Faisca, who encouraged them to take charge of their future by learning the power of the word "but."

"Instead of ending a thought on the negative, the power of 'but' forces you to see the more generous outcome," she said. "'I am so anxious for my first critique tomorrow… ​but ​ i’m also really eager to hear the constructive feedback of my professors and peers that will help me grow as an artist.' 'I had a really awful day today… ​but ​ I know it will pass because I have great friends to help me through it.'”


Convocation speaker Ksenia Nouril, an art historian, curator, and writer specializing in global modern and contemporary art, and new Jensen Bryan Curator at The Print Center, told the new class "the best is yet to come."

"Moore is an epicenter of activity with the power to affect change through art within and far beyond Philadelphia," she said. "It is a place where open-mindedness and progressive thinking in and outside the classroom can foster collaboration among diverse populations of students, faculty, staff, and communities that support critical dialogues relevant to and reflective of society today.

"Having chosen however many months ago to study at Moore, you recognize this. Starting today, you will feel this, as each and every one of your choices over the coming years will shape not only you but also Moore. You have the power to control the narrative. Congratulations, again. I look forward to what’s to come."