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2010 Art Center Graduation Tucson Campus

May 24, 2010

Its 5:20pm as I enter the Leo Rich Theater on Friday and all is fairly still. Curiously still if one were to ponder the outcome of tonight’s events. In less than an hour, a ceremony will begin that will mark the end of a very long journey for many students here. An arduous adventure that has left all empowered, ready to face the new trek ahead. I know this personally, because only a short time ago I was standing right here, in their shoes. As the six o’clock hour approaches, I can feel the fevered excitement begin to build. Many students nervously pace the small corridor outside the main hall, mingling with one another. Hugs and kisses abound and I can’t help but be swept away with the crowd’s excitement. Friends and family beam with such a personal love and admiration that the graduates seem to shine. I find myself feeling an immense amount of pride for those walking tonight and can’t help but think that this is the way my family and friends must have felt for me last year. 

Soon, the crowd pours into the main hall and once the bustling dies down, Amy begins her introduction. After some kind words and expressed gratitude for all in attendance, she welcomes the undergraduates. Enthusiastic whistles, applause and cheers roar through the auditorium as the students march into the hall. Being on the receiving end of this before, I can tell you that there is no better feeling. After four tough years of college it’s nice to know that everyone here not only knows the pains you’ve endured to accomplish such a monumental task, but they have also taken time out of their lives to salute you. Talk about a rush!  

The applause eventually subsides and once everyone is seated the ceremony begins. As a spectator, I have to say that the speakers are brilliant. They are concise, considerate and inspirational. The student speakers are equally as brilliant, taking time to thank the appropriate people while leaving their own unique words of advice. And let me tell you, they are all very unique. The ceremony is quick and to the point, or at least it seems that way because before you know it we’re pouring into the narrow corridor outside the main hall. A jumbled mass of bodies lazily mingle in the tiny foyer directly following the ceremony. It’s truly an amazing sight. So much love and excitement permeates the air that it becomes infectious. Congratulatory high fives, hugs, and smooches wash over the crowd like a calm wave, but eventually the excitement subsides and the crowd begins to empty into the cool night air. Outside, I find clumps of family members and graduates capturing this special moment with 35mm film and digital media. And as they all eventually fade off into the night I find myself reflecting on tonight’s events.What an amazing accomplishment. These graduates have endured an incredibly tumultuous task and in the end have found a new appreciation for life. Not only that, they have acquired brand new skills that they will carry with them forever. And because of this, these special few are no longer students of The Art Center Design College, they are now and forever alumni. Congrats to all who graduated, all who came, and all who were supportive.   

You can check out more pictures over at our Facebook page,

Emmett ~AN

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