PNCA’s 2021 Virtual Commencement Ceremony Celebrates Student Achievements

June 09, 2021

Portland, OR – June 9, 2021 – Pacific Northwest College of Art celebrated the inspiring achievements of the Class of 2021 on Sunday, May 23, in a virtual ceremony that recognized the PNCA graduates’ powerful work and accomplishments.

Following opening remarks from PNCA Interim President David Ellis, a welcome address from PNCA Board Chair Scott D. Musch, and speeches from 2021 BFA graduate Noah Beckham and 2021 MFA graduate Edson Rosas, the college’s department heads handed out awards to their top students, and PNCA BFA Thesis Director Linda Kliewer announced winners of the Thesis awards.

“PNCA’s 2021 Commencement ceremony was a wonderful celebration of the creative spirit and the incredible work of our graduating BFA and MFA students,” said PNCA Interim President David Ellis. “I, along with the entire PNCA community, know that the graduating class of 2021 will go on to do great things and continue to make an impact by living a life of creative practice.”

PNCA Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies Director MK Guth then handed out the graduate awards, followed by Interim President David Ellis presenting honorary doctorate degrees to PNCA Board Chair Scott D. Musch and Commencement Speaker Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel.

“For more than 100 years, PNCA has contributed to the cultural vibrancy of the region,” said PNCA Board Chair Scott D. Musch. “I am humbled to receive an honorary degree from PNCA and look forward to continuing the college’s work to strengthen its contributions to the art and design community and culture in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.”

The ceremony continued with a speech from Commencement Speaker Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel. As the Associate Director for Design Thinking for Social Impact and Professor of Practice at the Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking at Tulane University, Dr. Noel’s research practice is guided by an emancipatory philosophy and focuses on developing design curriculum for non-traditional audiences and promoting the work of designers outside of Europe and North America.

Interim President Ellis provided closing remarks and wrapped up the ceremony. In total, 37 graduate students and 77 undergraduate students were awarded degrees and officially joined the PNCA alumni family.

The incredible work of PNCA’s Class of 2021 is available for all to view and experience via PNCA’s Online Gallery:

About Pacific Northwest College of Art Pacific Northwest College of Art empowers artists and designers to reimagine what art and design can do in the world. Founded in 1909 as the Museum Art School in Portland, Oregon, PNCA offers 11 art and design Bachelor of Fine Art programs, eight graduate programs including Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs within the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies, a Post-Baccalaureate program, and Community Education courses for artists and designers of all ages. Learn more at