Official photo of Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle L. Parker.

PHILADELPHIA (March 12, 2024)—Moore College of Art & Design ("Moore") today announced that Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle L. Parker will be the keynote speaker for its historic 175th Commencement and will receive an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree. The ceremony honoring Moore’s Class of 2024 is set for Saturday, May 11, 2024, at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center.

“Moore College of Art & Design has played an important role in shaping Philadelphia’s cultural heritage by fostering the creativity and innovation of our young people – many of whom would not otherwise have the opportunity to study art and design,” said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. “I am deeply honored to receive this degree and to address the graduates of the Class of 2024 as they celebrate their achievements and look ahead to the next phase of their lives. Moore holds a special place in our city and helps us unite the passions of these students with career opportunities right here in Philadelphia.”

Parker made history earlier this year as she was sworn in as the 100th Mayor of Philadelphia, becoming the first woman to lead the city and hold the office in 341 years. She is a former public school teacher, a state legislator who headed the Philadelphia delegation, and member of Philadelphia City Council, where she represented the 9th District and rose to become majority leader.

“Since our founding 175 years ago, Moore has been a place where people who lack traditional access to opportunity, especially women, can find the education, community and support they need to push past historical boundaries and thrive as leaders in the art and design fields. There’s no better individual to help us commemorate this landmark anniversary than Philadelphia’s first female mayor, Cherelle L. Parker,” said Moore President Cathy Young. “We are thrilled to welcome Mayor Parker to the Moore community with an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree and we look forward to the inspiration she’ll share with our graduating seniors and their guests.”

Moore celebrates its 175th anniversary year in 2024, commemorating its rich history and commitment to representation, leadership and innovation in the creative fields. The College will confer degrees to 74 undergraduate and graduate students during the May 11 Commencement ceremony for programs including animation & game arts, art education, fashion design, fine arts, graphic design, illustration, interior design, and photography.

Additional details about Moore's 175th Commencement ceremony are available here.  


About Moore College of Art & Design  

Founded during the original industrial revolution to advance women in new fields, Moore College of Art & Design is the first and only historically women’s college for art and design. Our mission is more relevant than ever, as technology, sustainability and diverse cultures drive and disrupt new and existing industries. Through dynamic BFA and Graduate Studies programs, educational programs for creatively curious youth and professional adult learners, and our own public and dedicated space for contemporary art—The Galleries at Moore—we are influencers and advocates for breakthrough artists and designers of all ages and backgrounds. The world needs Moore. For more information about Moore, visit and follow us on social media @moorecollegeart.

About Cherelle L. Parker, Mayor of Philadelphia

Cherelle L. Parker is the 100th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. Born to a single teenage mother and raised by her grandparents James and Dorothy Parker, Mayor Parker is a Philadelphia native. It was the power of a village – her family and her community – and their belief in the power of education that gave her the opportunity to -succeed. A graduate of Philadelphia public schools, Mayor Parker was the first person in her family to go to college; earning her bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University where she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., then earning her master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she taught public school as a high school English teacher and ESL teacher working with immigrant children and adults.

Inspired to public service by Philadelphia Councilwoman Marian Tasco, whom she interned for, the future mayor worked in Tasco’s office and rose to serve as a senior staffer where she oversaw – among many other things – the implementation of all economic and community development initiatives that helped neighborhoods and business corridors thrive. By the time she left, she was one of Councilwoman Tasco’s most trusted advisors. 

The future mayor was elected to the State House and served for 10 years representing Northwest Philadelphia, the 200th district. On winning her election, she made history as the youngest African-American woman elected to the State Legislature. In Harrisburg, her colleagues elected her to chair the Philadelphia Delegation, and her leadership in this role earned her a reputation as one of the most effective legislators in Harrisburg. She was elected to City Council in 2015 to represent the 9th Council District and by 2019 was elected by her peers to serve as City Council Majority Leader. In the 2023 mayoral election, Cherelle L. Parker won a highly contested Democratic Primary and General Election to become the 100th Mayor of Philadelphia and the first woman to hold the office. 

A mom, a teacher, and a strong, experienced leader, Cherelle L. Parker is the first Black woman Mayor of Philadelphia, seeking to create a Safer, Cleaner, Greener city with access to economic opportunity for all. Mayor Parker spends her time outside the office at home in Northwest Philadelphia with her son, Langston, and their dog, Max.

For press inquiries, contact:

Elissa Hill
Signature 57, on behalf of Moore College of Art & Design | 814.952.1170  

Nicole Steinberg
Chief Creative & Communications Officer, Moore College of Art & Design | 215.965.8561