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College of Design Spring 2020 Virtual Convocation

Welcome to the College of Design’s Spring 2020 Undergraduate & Graduate Virtual Convocation. We know this experience will be very different from what our graduating students, their families and friends had imagined. We have worked hard to create a meaningful sendoff, and we invite you to join us, wherever you may be right now, in celebrating the accomplishments of our outstanding candidates for bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Iowa State University College of Design.

Convocation Address by Dean Luis Rico-Gutierrez


Recognition of Graduates

We are incredibly proud of all of our graduates.  In lieu of walking across the stage, those who submitted a photograph can view this Recognition of Graduates video to hear their name and degree announced. 


College of Design Song

Please enjoy our “Love College of Design Song” composed and performed by alumnus Ryan Seiler (BFA 2008 Integrated Studio Arts). This song has become a cherished part of our college convocations.



Student Marshal

Zoey Lazere of Ames is representing the College of Design as our student marshal at the university’s virtual commencement ceremony.

A member of the Dean’s List and top 2 percent of her class every semester at Iowa State, Zoey is graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor of arts in art and design and minors in digital media and performing arts. After graduation from Iowa State, she plans to pursue a position in development and post-production for television and film.

Read more about Zoey.


College of Design Departmental Addresses

Click on your department to read a note from the department chair and watch a special message from your selected faculty speaker. 


Message from the Department Chair 

To the graduating class of 2020, on behalf of the faculty of the Department of Architecture, I extend heartfelt congratulations for the incredible achievement you now claim.

The accomplishment of obtaining a degree in architecture is made even more difficult in the midst of a global crisis. Your resiliency during this time has inspired us all. Yet, it was your sustained hard work and dedication over the past years that has prepared you to be here today. The discipline of architecture sets a high bar, which each and every one of you have exceeded.

You have much to be proud of. We have much to be proud of in you. We will miss you, stay in touch, and again, congratulations!

Deborah Hauptmann
Architecture Department Chair

Convocation Faculty Address by Morrill Professor Thomas Leslie


Message from the Department Chair 

It’s an honor to celebrate your accomplishments and thank your family and friends. Appreciations to my colleagues who share this day.

We call this event commencement because it marks a beginning. Today is the start of a new relationship with something you have been doing well over the past four or so years — making art. We have taught skills and introduced concepts and ideas along the way; you have learned to practice and perform that daily rite of discovery that is how learning really happens.

Be persistent: pester us for recommendations, present your accomplishments, and procure awards. Play, laugh, and keep close to your aspirations no matter the challenges.

My last words are simply to say thank you for the privilege of being a part of your story these past few years. You know how to reach us; we expect to hear from you.

Ingrid Lilligren
Art and Visual Culture Department Chair

Convocation Faculty Address by Professor Chris Martin and University Professor Brenda Jones


Message from the Department Chair 

Congratulations to the Spring 2020 BSCRP and MCRP graduates — you made it! Although your graduation is not how you expected it to be, remember that given everything going on now with COVID-19, you couldn’t have chosen a timelier major. Due to its devastating impacts in cities, COVID-19 is not only a public health crisis but also an urban planning challenge that your training has prepared you to help solve.

I hope that you will take the time to soak in the happiness that comes from completing your degree in planning and find ways to celebrate this accomplishment with family, friends and loved ones. The CRP faculty and staff are proud of your achievements. We wish you all the absolute best in your future endeavors; we will be rooting for you from the sidelines as you continue to make your mark on the world. Congratulations!

Francis Owusu
Community and Regional Planning Department Chair

Convocation Faculty Address by Assistant Professor Ted Grevstad-Nordbrock


Message from the Department Chair 

Congratulations to the class of 2020 on a very important accomplishment!

Naturally, this day is nothing like you’d expected it would be.

Like a wedding day, it’s not about that particular day itself, it’s about everything that led there and most definitely what comes after. Through your talent and hard work you have achieved this; no one can take that away. Thank those who helped you get here: family, friends, classmates and teachers… and over the last couple of months, hopefully, a reliable internet connection…

Celebrate your success and persistence in the face of adversity, keep facing the challenges that are presented to you and you’ll continue to learn and succeed.

Paul Bruski
Graphic Design Interim Department Chair

Convocation Faculty Address by Associate Professor Andrea Quam


Message from the Department Chair 

On behalf of myself and the Department of Industrial Design faculty and staff, I would like to congratulate each one of you on your great accomplishment! We are so very proud of all that you have done during your time in the Department of Industrial Design, and we wish you the best as you begin this next phase in your life. As you begin your careers, we know that you will be well prepared to lead the industrial design field and continue solving grand challenges facing today’s society.

Although you are graduating, you will always be a member of our departmental family. I am confident that as you embark on your next adventure, the path you blaze will continue to make us proud.

Congratulations to our newest industrial design alumni, the Class of 2020!

Seda McKilligan
Industrial Design Interim Department Chair

Convocation Faculty Address by University Professor Steven Herrnstadt


Message from the Program Director

Graduates, I give a most heartfelt congratulations to all of you on your perseverance, hard work and achievements. I know that our faculty have asked you to work hard; we are onfident that you are ready to conquer the world.

Families, thank you for allowing us to work with your children for a few years. Thank you for your patience, understanding, sacrifices and support — both moral and financial — during these challenging, but rewarding years.

Students, I have a favor to ask of you. Please continue to let us know about your successes over the years as you progress professionally. We are truly proud of you, of how you have grown as thinkers, designers and problem solvers, and of what you will accomplish in the future.

Congratulations to our newest interdisciplinary design alumni, the Class of 2020!

Seda McKilligan
Interdisciplinary Design Interim Program Director

Convocation Faculty Address by Associate Teaching Professor Ana Luz


Message from the Department Chair 

Congratulations, Class of 2020! All of you have just completed one of the wildest obstacle courses in history, one certainly not foreseen when you started out here four years ago. As the newest graduating interior designers from our college, you know, perhaps better than any class before you, that people desperately need to occupy space that validates their needs and meets their desires. Our society needs you and your talents more than ever before.

Here at the College of Design, we love every last one of you, and although we will definitely miss you, we know that with you at the helm the future is in good hands. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Lee Cagley
Interior Design Department Chair

Convocation Faculty Address by Assistant Professor of Practice Michael Ford


Message from the Department Chair 

Congratulations, 2020 Graduates!

Graduation may feel like an end. For others, a beginning. Life is measured in milestones. Time is linear, but your life doesn’t have to be. it is more flexible than we give it credit for.

Don’t let someone else’s success define your own. Don’t compete with others; check in with them and support them. Our community builds others up and shares the wealth. Everyone’s day will come.

Remember, you know a lot. You may feel too much of some things (isolated, emotional, bewildered), too little of others. You will look back at today and wonder why wasn’t it different. Remember: You’re creative and beautiful — just as you are.

Finally, find your mantra — your own words that when strung together, provide safety, happiness, calm, comfort, stability. Life is hard. It is all we have. I am proud of you!

Carl Rogers
Landscape Architecture Department Chair

Convocation Faculty Address by Associate Professor Michael Martin


Stay Connected to the College of Design

Whether in professional firms, classrooms, nonprofit organizations, home studios, government offices or the community, you’re out in the world putting your College of Design degree to work. Although you’ve left campus, you haven’t left the Iowa State family. We want you to stay in touch.

There are many ways for alumni to stay involved and connected to the College of Design, your former classmates, favorite professors and ISU. By keeping us up-to-date on your information and activities, we can keep you up-to-date on College of Design and alumni happenings at the university.


If you’ve moved, changed your name or created a new email address, we want to know. Update your information so we can keep you posted on news and events in your area.


At the College of Design, we care about what’s going on in your life, and so do your former classmates and professors. Whether you started your own business or began a new career, won an award, got promoted or earned another degree, married your sweetheart or welcomed a baby to your family, we want to know. Share your news with us!


Our monthly Designotes e-blast contains information on College of Design alumni, faculty, students, programs and activities that may be of interest to you. The e-blast is sent the second Thursday of every month. To sign up, send an email to


Always stay connected with the College of Design by following us on social media! Check us out on the following platforms:

LinkedIn: Iowa State University – College of Design
Instagram: @isucollegeofdesign
Facebook: @CollegeofDesign
Twitter: @ISUdesign


Future Celebrations

Spring 2020 College of Design graduates are also welcome to participate in the Fall 2020 Convocation or Spring 2021 Convocation. The fall event will be the evening of Friday, Dec. 18, and next spring’s ceremony will be the morning of Saturday, May 8, 2021. Convocation invitations will be sent by email in early October. 

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