Graduation actually happened. I actually finished my B.F.A. Only took 7 years, all my waking energy, and a crap load of my money. Well a crap load of debt I have to pay back over the course of 10 years.
At Washington University in Saint Louis graduation takes place, for me at least, over two days. The first night May 17th was the Art Recognition Ceremony, where Dr. R. Keith Sawyer, PhD, associate professor of education, psychology, and business at Washington University, helped to validate the work I put into art. He explained to the non-artists in attendance that art isn't a natural gift bestowed from the heavens, but one that is learned though hard work and dedication. He also argued that as creators, artists through their training have a way of thinking that will be very useful in and outside of non-art professions. Dr. Sawyer continued to point out that as many more jobs in engineering, law, and the financial sectors are becoming increasingly outsourced to other countries, creative minds would come to dominate the US market.
All Campus Commencement took place the following morning on the 19th. Our commencement speaker was Michael Peters, a WUSTL alum, Pulitzer Prize winner, and creator of the comic strip Mother Goose and Grim. The cartoonist was the perfect end of my undergraduate career. He offered his humor and life experience, which included his childhood Superman fantasy, to quell the terror we all felt as we enter the dark abyss known as the professional world. He told us that if we keep following what we love to do, we will eventually make it. Peters added that we are faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and we are able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. That we, the Class of 2012, are all superheroes. He then concluded his speech by ripping open his gown and shirt exposing his Superman tights.
Not to long after, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters. I will never forget his speech. Thank you and congratulations Dr. Peters!
Top Photo: Copyright Nicole Caito 2012. Left to right Jim O’Boyle, Alex Vitti, Dave Maupin, David Brennan
Bottom Photo: Copyright Washington University in Saint Louis 2012.