KCAD Showcases 2021 Graduates in Online Annual Student Exhibitions, Virtual Commencement Ceremony

Posted April 28, 2021 in Class of 2021, Student Exhibitions, Graduates, Commencement, KCAD

Commencement 2021

KCAD is proud to honor the graduating class of 2021 in a virtual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. 

Like many colleges and universities, KCAD made the difficult decision to modify many of its Commencement-related activities and events this spring to protect the health and safety of its campus community and guests in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the ability to gather in a physical space, faculty, staff, and students worked collaboratively to transition the college’s Commencement ceremony and Annual Student Exhibitions to an online format once again. 

The 2021 ceremony will take the form of a pre-produced video that brings together content from across the KCAD community to recreate the college's annual commencement traditions, including a Valedictorian Address from Graphic Design student Becca Morris, Faculty Farewell Address, the ceremonial Conferral of Degrees, and most importantly, individual recognition of each graduate, complete with their headshot, a list of academic honors, and an image of work they've chosen to represent their creative practice. 

Despite the immense challenges of the pandemic, everyone in the KCAD community has continued to support, push, and inspire one another toward creative, personal, and professional growth,” said KCAD President Tara McCrackin. “We can’t wait to place our students center stage and celebrate the incredible work they have been creating over the past year.” 

The ceremony will be streamed live at kcad.edu/commencement2021 and on the KCAD Facebook page, giving graduates and their families a chance to celebrate in the moment. Viewers can interact on Facebook Live using comments during the ceremony. Additionally, KCAD will feature commencement conversations and information on social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram using the hashtags #KCADproud and #KCADgrad. 

KCAD's Annual Student Exhibitions—which typically transform the campus into a massive gallery space—will open virtually. The following exhibitions will be available to view in three separate online galleries beginning at 4 pm on Tuesday, April 27 at kcad2021.org: 

Master's Thesis Exhibition – Featuring the fully-developed work of those students who have completed their graduate studies at KCAD, including students from the Master of Architecture, Master of Arts in Design, Master of Fine Arts Painting, and Master of Fine Arts Printmaking programs. This exhibition offers a window into the process, methodology, and passion that went into their final thesis projects. 

Excellence Awards Exhibition – Showcasing KCAD’s 2021 Excellence Award winners, those graduating seniors who exhibit a rare level of mastery and accomplishment in their chosen field. Excellence Award winners have reached the pinnacle of undergraduate achievement at KCAD. 

Undergraduate Senior Exhibition – Converging creative work from each graduating undergraduate student into a remarkable reflection of their talent and accomplishments. 

Comment sections will be included for each exhibition, allowing guests to share words of encouragement with students. 

“We’re so proud of all of our graduates, and we look forward to hearing about their future success as changemakers, creative leaders, problem solvers, and advocates for design, art, and education,” said McCrackin. 

On Friday, April 30, KCAD's annual Excellence Awards ceremony—at which awardees are honored in the presence of friends, family, and the KCAD community with a spoken tribute from their faculty and a slideshow presentation of their creative work—will also take place online, but will be limited to a private audience to continue the tradition of a more intimate celebration. 

KCAD invites anyone and everyone to tune in to the virtual commencement ceremony and explore the online Annual Student Exhibitions—especially those interested in learning more about what a KCAD education has to offer aspiring creative professionals.