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It was a triumphant sea of red caps and gowns at the College's 44th annual Commencement exercises, held May 15, at the landmark Radio City Music Hall in New York City. During the joyous celebration of academic achievement and personal growth, SVA President David Rhodes conferred BFA, MA, MAT, MFA and MPS degrees on some 1,218 undergraduate and graduate degree candidates enrolled in the College's 32 academic programs.
"It would appear that your futures as artists, teachers and writers will be bright—congratulations," Rhodes remarked during his President's address. "You have made your mark at SVA; it is now time for you to make your mark in the larger world." SVA Provost Dr. Christopher Cyphers acted as the Director of Ceremonies.
BFA Cartooning graduate Sammy Savos gave the Bachelor's Candidate Address and stressed the importance of making the world a better place and supporting one another collectively. "I don't think there's anything in the world more important than being kind, putting more goodness into the world," she said. "As we leave SVA, putting more goodness into the world is something we as artists are especially prepared to do, because art is inherently giving."
"Upon joining this program, I asked the chair of my department, Liz Danzico, 'What's the one thing she wants her students to graduate with when they leave this program?,'" MFA Interaction Design graduate Jason Branch remembered during his Master's Candidate Address. "I'll never forget the words she uttered: 'The courage to make the hard decisions.' It took me a while, but I've come to understand that courage comes with growth, and growth is in the process."
The Class of 2019 will definitely have something to contribute to the world and will surely be making their mark on the world soon. Congratulations to all the graduates on this momentous occasion.
To watch the commencement exercises, a replay of the live stream is available below.