Spring 2017 Letter from the President

Spring 2017 Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

It's spring break -- that critical juncture in our calendar when we all gear up for the fulfillment of another successful academic year. There are several new developments (and much good news!) to report.

Campus Planning Update

Our plans to create a unified and reimagined campus in San Francisco are becoming more concrete with each passing day.

I am so excited by the possibilities the project presents for the future of teaching, learning, and making in the fields of art, design, architecture, and writing.

As you may have heard, the college selected Chicago-based Studio Gang to design the expanded campus (read more). The team, led by Jeanne Gang, recently made a visit to CCA that involved

  • extensive tours of both campuses
  • meetings with faculty and staff
  • a presentation to our Board of Trustees
  • a sustainability workshop that brought together trustees, alumni, faculty, students, and experts from the Rocky Mountain Institute and Atelier Ten

The next few months will be exciting as we continue our engagement with Studio Gang. I am very encouraged by their process, which thus far has been open, creative, collaborative, thoughtful, and thorough.

We expect to have some preliminary plans for the campus by the end of the calendar year, which we will share broadly.

Neal Benezra to Receive Honorary Doctorate

CCA will confer an honorary doctorate on Neal Benezra at the 110th Commencement exercises on May 13. As director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Neal brilliantly steered the effort to grow the museum's collection and build the impressive new wing, which opened last year.

He has a special connection to the college: his late father Morris Benezra was a CCA(C) alumnus who taught art to many generations of students in the Richmond Unified School District.

I'm delighted that Neal will deliver the undergraduate commencement address.

It should be inspirational!

Gala Will Honor David Kelley

On Tuesday, May 23, we will host our annual gala on the SF campus to raise money for the CCA Scholarship Fund.

This year's honoree is design thinker, entrepreneur, engineer, and teacher David Kelley. As founder of IDEO, David led the company that created many iconic products and experiences of the digital age -- Apple's first mouse, for example.

Kelley also founded Stanford University's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, known as the d.school.

Special thanks are in order to our gala co-chairs Patricia W. Fitzpatrick, Lorna Meyer Calas, and Kay Kimpton Walker; and honorary chair Stanlee Gatti.

WASC & NAAB Accreditations

CCA undergoes periodic review by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), our regional accreditation body.

I'm happy to report that we've received an enthusiastic reaffirmation of our accreditation (the standard eight years) with many commendations from the commission, which noted our fiscal stability, rising retention and graduation rates, and a strong foundation of studio-based instruction, among other findings. (Read more.)

Our architecture programs are also accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The NAAB accreditation team recently concluded their periodic review.

Although we haven't yet received our official letter reaffirming our NAAB accreditation, I can share with you that CCA's architecture programs passed with flying colors, meeting all 26 student performance criteria.

End-of-Year Events

It's not too soon to start thinking about the exhibitions, screenings, readings, and other events that mark the close of the academic year. Our MFA in Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition kicks off on March 29 and runs through April 22.

The Commencement Exhibition, showcasing the spectrum of programs at CCA, will be held from May 11 through May 14.

For details, check the calendar of events.

Leigh Markopoulos

And finally, on a sad note, we recently lost a very important member of the CCA community. Leigh Markopoulos, chair of the Curatorial Practice Program, died on February 24.

She was a brilliant scholar, writer, curator, and teacher who was dearly loved by her students and colleagues. She thrived at CCA in her role as chair, helping to launch the careers of many young curators.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory may be sent to CCA to support the Steven Leiber and Leigh Markopoulos Scholarship for Curatorial Practice students; or to Creative Growth Art Center to support its studio art program for people with disabilities.

Donations to CCA may be made by contacting Jennifer Jansen at 510.594.3763 or jjansen@cca.edu or online at cca.edu/give.

Donations to Creative Growth may be made by contacting Laura Marshall at 510.836.2340 x17 or tom@creativegrowth.org or through the donations link at creativegrowth.org.


President Stephen Beal