Commencement 2022

We toast the 115th Commencement Class with in-person ceremonies, thesis exhibitions, and capstone events alongside digital experiences like the 2022 Showcase and program recordings.

Cause for Celebration

Tams off for a job well done!

Pennant design by Dylan Spangler (BFA Graphic Design 2022)

We commemorate the Commencement Class of 2022 with in-person ceremonies on Saturday, May 14. After years of creative and academic dedication, these students are ready to take steps forward onto new challenges and into their professional practices. Our programming celebrates their momentous scholarly achievements with events and festivities centered around togetherness: in person, on campus, and at home.

“Class of 2022—You did it! You have worked, and created, and persisted to earn your degrees in the midst of historic disruption.”

— Stephen Beal

CCA President

By the numbers

CCA’s 115th Commencement Class represents students across 21 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs:

  • Youngest graduate: 19 years, 7 months
  • Oldest graduate: 71 years, 6 months
  • Countries represented: 8
  • U.S. states represented: 24
  • First-generation college students: 125

View the Commencement Class of 2022: Undergraduate and Graduate

Undergraduate Ceremony

Celebrating 348 undergraduate candidates

White block text reads “Bachelor’s Degree Candidates Ceremony” with balloon-like letters spelling “2022” against a green duo-tone image of sky.

View live (password required). Questions? Visit our FAQ on Portal.

The Bachelor’s Degree Candidates Ceremony features the conferring of CCA’s Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts on Marc Bamuthi Joseph, a spoken-word artist, writer, and arts activist whose work embodies the idea of creative citizenship.

Undergraduate student speaker Jamie Santos (BFA Animation 2022) reflects that “CCA has made me a better person, and a forever-student who will never stop learning from others.” Santos closes their time at CCA with sage advice for all: “Be kind, stay flexible, and say ‘yes.’”

“Graduates, artists, I wish for you equity stakes in a transformational future. Meaning I wish for you a future that’s worth the value of your creative risk.”

— Marc Bamuthi Joseph

2022 CCA honorary doctorate recipient

A group of people perform a fire ceremony on Ocean Beach at dusk.

Toj + Tijax: A Ritual of Myth Making by Katherin Canton (BFA Community Arts 2011) and Mariana Moscoso.

A ceremonial ritual

The 115th Commencement ceremony also includes an alumni performance by Katherin Canton (BFA Community Arts 2011) and Mariana Moscoso. Toj + Tijax: A Ritual of Myth Making leads this year’s commencement class into new beginnings through a sacred fire ceremony performed on 1 Aq’ab’al (Saturday, April 16, 2022), a pivotal day of change in the Chol’qij, or the Mayan spiritual calendar. Learn more about the ceremony and alum Katherin Canton.

President Stephen Beal congratulates extraordinary accomplishments

In his commencement speech, CCA President Stephen Beal shares his excitement to watch the students’ futures unfold as they persevere through a pandemic:

“Commencement is a beginning. And this is probably one of the more distinctive beginnings anyone has ever had to commence upon. To the CCA Bachelor's Class of 2022  . . . Congratulations! You are here today, crossing this stage, because you have the passion, and the power, to make it under extraordinary circumstances. I can’t wait to see what you make next.”

Graduate Ceremony

Celebrating 186 graduate candidates

White block text reads “Master’s Degree Candidates Ceremony” with balloon-like letters spelling “2022” against a blue duotone image of sky.

Watch live (CCA password required) Questions? Visit our FAQ on Portal.

Diedrick Brackens (MFA Fine Arts 2014) delivers the Distinguished Alumni Address at the 2022 Master’s Degree Candidates Ceremony. The critically acclaimed artist exemplifies the profound ways in which handmade objects can powerfully impact our world and inspire all of us who witness them. “It’s not that the work needs to engage in social issues. It’s that the artist needs to be socially engaged,” says Brackens. “So I came to CCA as a weaver. And I was awakened to all of these ideas, and shaped from that experience, to leave a very different weaver.”

Graduate student speaker Paul Mendoza (MBA Design Strategy 2022) cheers his fellow classmates’ ideas and ideals: “No one could have imagined our education here at CCA, which makes us the ideal stewards for quixotically imagining what comes next.”

A group of people perform a fire ceremony on Ocean Beach at dusk.

Toj + Tijax: A Ritual of Myth Making by Katherin Canton (BFA Community Arts 2011) and Mariana Moscoso.

A ceremonial ritual

The 115th Commencement program includes a commissioned performance by Katherin Canton (BFA Community Arts 2011) and their collaborator Mariana Moscoso. Toj + Tijax: A Ritual of Myth Making leads this year’s class into new beginnings through a sacred fire ceremony performed on April 16, 2022, a pivotal day of change in the Chol’qij, or the Mayan spiritual calendar. Learn more about CCA alum Katherin Canton.

President Stephen Beal expresses collegewide pride

In his commencement speech, CCA President Stephen Beal applauds the graduate students’ power and passion to envision possibilities and make art that matters despite historic disruption:

“That creative back and forth, that human-centric approach to technology and making, is more critical at this moment than perhaps it has ever been. As is the role for creative practice—for artists and designers—in our communities and society. You have the skills, knowledge, and experience to determine how it will impact our future.”

2022 Showcase

Explore student work from across the college

The 2022 Showcase demonstrates an expansive range of culminating projects and capstone moments by students graduating from the college’s four divisions: Architecture, Design, Fine Arts, and Humanities & Sciences.

A navy blue graphic with lighter navy blue shapes in the background. Text in lime green and salmon pink reads: Deans' Spotlight.

To denote outstanding student contributions to the 2022 Showcase, the deans of CCA’s four academic divisions selected students whose submissions deserve special recognition. Every student work chosen for a Deans’ Spotlight demonstrates excellence in theory and practice.

Virtual events

Experience our end-of-year events and presentations, modified to accommodate socially distanced idea sharing and community building. In these spaces you’ll find lectures, readings, digital collections, and more. All are evidence of the scope of students’ intellectual curiosity and creative action, as well as the outcomes of CCA’s dynamic learning-through-making educational model.

Social Media Spotlights

@cacollegeofarts
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May 16, 2022

Class of 2022. . . you did 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵.

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May 13, 2022

This was our first IRL runway show in three years (!!!) Each spring, the Fashion Design program debuts the collections of graduating seniors with end-of-year presentations. Congratulations to Binbin Xiang, Claire Mermelstein, Fatima Mendez, Florence Yang, Grecia Rivera, Hanjuan Kristen Sun, Jason Lei, Kary Deng, Krystle Reynolds, Maya Hazen, Ruijie Yue, Ryan Gao, Simin Li, Siqi Wu, Xinyi Tong, Ziyao Wang, and Melissa Rodriguez.

🔉 And a special shout out to @wearetheoneswevebeenwaitingfor for providing music for this evening.

@ccafashiondesign #californiacollegeofthearts

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May 10, 2022

❗️ FRESH PRINTS ❗️Alum and faculty emeritus Thomas Wojak is working with current and former CCA faculty artists to design a print from each decade of the college's 100-year history in Oakland as part of the Legacy Print Project. ⁠

Here are the latest three prints by Victoria Wagner (1950s), Irence Cheng & Janette Kim (1960s), and Eduardo Pineda (1970s)⁠

These prints are now available by donation (check out our IG Story for links). Proceeds will help fund Oakland Campus Legacy programming and projects. ⁠

#californiacollegeofthearts @cca.oakland.legacy

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May 9, 2022

For Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month, we're reflecting on 'Stop Polite Racism,' a collage of bumper stickers by Nielsen Arenas (BFA Graphic Design 2022).⁠

"'Stop Polite Racism' is a statement that highlights Asian Americans' struggles regarding covert racism. Polite racism is a form of passing through something that you are assumed not to be. A misunderstanding of identity that every Asian American experiences. The poster aims to promote awareness of the issue by sending love and care using bumper stickers as a medium of communication."⁠

#AAPIMonth @ccagd @else.psd

In Memoriam

Remembering community members who have passed

“Please take a moment to honor these members of our CCA community. They are part of our creative legacy—teachers, friends, and colleagues who changed our lives, and whom we cherish.”

— Stephen Beal

CCA President

In Memoriam 2021–2022

  • Stephen Ajay
    (Professor Emeritus)
  • Ruth Armstrong
    (BFA Fine Arts 1975)
  • Garry Knox Bennett
    (Sculpture 1961)
  • Tecoah Bruce
    (BFA Painting/Drawing 1974, MAEd Art Education 1979)
    (trustee 1981–2018, board chair 1992–1998, trustee emeritus 2019–2021)
  • Janice Chilimidos
    (BFA General Fine Arts 1957)
  • Ted Cohen
    (BAEd 1952)
  • Gerard Creedon
    (faculty)
  • M. Arthur Gensler Jr.
    (trustee 2010–2017, board chair 2017–2021)
  • Beverly Joyce Gimlin
    (MFA 1987)
  • Michelle Anne Goodman
    (1973)
  • Debra Goodwin
    (BFA Textiles 1981)
  • Gary “Chicken” Hirsh
    (1963)
  • Lisa Holland
    (Design Strategy 2016)
  • Jack Howard
    (BAEd Art Education 1958, MFA Painting 1959)
  • Peter Keefer
    (BFA Interior Design 1958)
  • Alice Geary Kilham
    (BFA Interior Architecture 1981)
  • David Kueubel
    (BFA Graphic Design 1975)
  • Wookjin (Jin) Kwon
    (MFA Design)
  • Arturo Luz
    (1949)
  • Richard E. Meyer
    (BFA Advertising, Illustration 1958)
  • Philip Morsberger
    (Professor Emeritus)
  • Manuel Neri
    (1956)
  • Norman Nicholson
    (faculty)
  • Liz Pointer
    (staff)
  • Prescott Reavis
    (faculty)
  • Andy V. Reid
    (Printmaking 1987)
  • Anthony David Shatsky
    (Photography 1972)
  • Ferne Kerr Wilson
    (BAEd Arts Education 1942)
  • Gary Wiss Jr.
    (BFA Interior Architecture 2005)
  • Ronald C. Wornick
    (trustee 1992–2021, vice-chair 1997–2005)
  • Ira Yeager
    (1975)
  • Al Young
    (faculty)