Academy of Art University's Class of 2010 Leads the Way to a Creative Future
Elisa Stephens at the 2010 Commencement Ceremony
Confident of success in their futures, eager students filled the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in
the heart of San Francisco for the 2010 Academy of Art University Commencement ceremony. Friends
and family snapped pictures of the black-robed graduates to commemorate the day.
President of Academy of Art University Dr. Elisa Stephens commended students on their
unprecedented number of awards won this year. "I am thrilled for each and everyone one of you.
Thrilled because I see success in your future," said Dr. Stephens. Noting the already considerable
achievements of the class, she continued, "Success is already upon you."
Academy of Art University's undergraduate valedictorian Cristina Rotundo is a shining example of
the talented students graduating this year. Cristina, a Graphic Design graduate, has already had
her designs exhibited through the San Francisco Urban Forest Project and on packaging design blog
The Dieline. "We have all fought hard to be here today, and I feel privileged to be among all of
you," she told her fellow classmates.
Shannon Widmer, this year's graduate valedictorian, is the first ever exclusively online student
to be named valedictorian at Academy of Art University. While she stands as an example, she was
also grateful for the guidance she received from her instructors and fellow students.
"There were times I felt like I couldn't possibly do it all, but I was able to stay committed
through the encouragement of my instructors, family and friends," Shannon said. "During my time at
the Academy, I had the honor of working with so many passionate and talented artists."
Graduates at the
2010 Commencement Ceremony
Distinguished Honorary Doctorate awardees, Sherrie McGraw and Tom Sherak offered students sage
advice for their futures. McGraw applauded students for "pioneering a new chapter in art." Academy
of Art University alumni Caleb Whitbeck, Denise Cherry, Nicole Franco and Chuck Pyle were also
recognized for the amazing work they have done in art and design.
From winning international awards to designing pieces already in use by real-world clients, this
year's graduates stand out among their peers. Due to their stunning work, some students have
already been offered jobs well-known companies such as General Motors and Abercrombie & Fitch
Proud parents looked on while students walked across the stage. As graduates stood to be
recognized for their achievement, friends, family and faculty erupted into applause. Though the
ceremony celebrated the accomplishments of the graduating class, it also marks the beginning of
their amazing journey to come.
Congratulations to Academy of Art University's Class of 2010! View a
video of the Commencement ceremony.