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March 2017

Here we are again, nearing the end of another academic year. In completing my tenth year as dean of the College of Arts and Architecture, I feel incredibly grateful for the people with whom I work everyday—the faculty and staff committed to educating the artists and designers of tomorrow, our devoted alumni and friends, the students with such bright futures ahead of them. The College of Arts and Architecture is a very special place indeed, because of people like you.

April always brings a flurry of activity, and not just because commencement is around the corner. Amid the final projects and critiques, thesis exhibitions and end-of-year concerts, we welcome back alumni and friends for our annual donor and awards luncheon. For the past couple years, we have held the luncheon in conjunction with Blue & White Weekend and hosted a tailgate for alumni, friends, and graduating students before the game. It’s great fun, as well as a great networking opportunity for our seniors. To register, visit

On April 6, one of our alumni, Christian Thompson, will return to campus in the national tour of Rent (see feature story). He is just one example of the many alumni, faculty, staff, and students who make us proud every day. Current student and violin performance major Walker Konkle was recently named a recipient of the University’s prestigious John W. Oswald Award. And School of Theatre faculty member Andrew Belser, director of the Arts & Design Research Incubator, was just named the Penn State Laureate for 2016–17—a position that will give him an opportunity to share his work across the Commonwealth while demonstrating the central role of the arts and design at the University.

It’s a great time to be part of the College of Arts and Architecture family. We hope to see you at the Blue & White Tailgate or another event soon. Keep in touch!