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News from the Dean: May 2014

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Commencement is behind us and we have the “lazy” days of summer ahead. Of course, in the College of Arts and Architecture, there’s no such thing as “lazy”—there’s always a performance, exhibition, or other event to keep both local audiences and visitors busy. In June we have the Music at Penn’s Woods summer orchestra festival and Penn State Centre Stage’s production of the Tony Award-winning Next to Normal. The Penn State Downtown Theatre Center will once again be the home of the noontime “Broadway on Allen” series and the Nu.Musical Theatre Festival—two opportunities to enjoy fantastic entertainment for free! In addition, throughout the summer the Palmer Museum of Art will host a variety of workshops for both children and adults.

On May 10, we celebrated with approximately 280 undergraduates and their families as the students received their bachelor’s degrees. Commencement speaker Beverly McIver, painter and Penn State alumna, had some simple words of advice: find what you love to do, and do it. She also reminded us that rejection is only the universe’s way of redirecting our paths in life. With the chorus of Pharrell Williams’ popular song “Happy” playing in the background, Beverly encouraged the graduates to ignore any naysayers in their lives, and pursue their dreams. (Click here for her full address.)

I hope that you, as alumni and friends of the college, will heed Beverly’s advice as well. Take advantage of the summer months to do something that makes you happy. If your summer activities involve a visit to Penn State, I hope you will enjoy one of the many arts-related opportunities we have to offer. Keep in touch (!