The Sam Fox School held its all-school recognition ceremony on Sunday, May 14, marking the completion of studies for students in art, architecture, and design. Many students also attended the university-wide commencement ceremony on Francis Olympic Field on Monday, May 15.
Carmon Colangelo, the Ralph J. Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School, started the program with a brief address to the graduates. “You have demonstrated ingenuity, commitment, empathy, and hard work,” he said. “You are ready to face the most complex and critical issues facing humanity.”
Following Colangelo, the keynote address was given by Min Jung Kim, the Barbara B. Taylor Director of the Saint Louis Art Museum. Kim shared her the story of her career trajectory, its twists and turns, reminding the graduates to embrace uncertainty. “You can and should start, stop, start over, stop, and start again. Whatever you do, keep making,” she said. She went on to encourage graduates to seek out and create community, establish a voice, and build the world they want to live in.
Student speakers included Nema Swareh, who earned her BA in architecture, and Allena Marie Brazier, who earned her MFA in visual art. Swareh spoke about building spaces that allow people to think and be, noting that “the self is built in space.” Brazier shared words from her mentor: “Trust yourself. Trusting yourself isn’t just a pretty phrase — it’s a call to action.” Following the speakers, undergraduate and graduate students walked across the stage, receiving their degrees to cheers from the audience.
Ahead of the recognition ceremony, several students received awards and funding for future work. Among the most prestigious awards in art are theJeffrey Frank Wacks Scholarship, awarded to Connor Seger; the John T. Milliken Foreign Travel Award — both a monetary award and a residency at the school’s Cité internationale des arts studio in Paris — awarded to Alex McLaughlin at the undergraduate level and Sharlene Lee at the graduate level; and the Caroline Risque Janis Prize in Sculpture, awarded to Levi Gentry. In architecture, the Frederick Wildmann Prize was awarded to Chuchu Qi at the undergraduate level and Jacqueline Traudt at the graduate level; the American Institute of Architects Medal was awarded to Bob Peniel Inapanuri; and the Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal was awarded to Mila Lipinski.