News & Events

Feature Stories

Honoring the Stamps Class of 2021

The Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design celebrates the Class of 2021 with Stamps Commencement Week, a series of virtual offerings and activities unfolding Monday, April 26-Saturday, May 1, 2021 at stampsgrads.org/classof2021.

Graduates-to-be should receive a Stamps Commencement Kit, filled with goodies to help celebrate this milestone achievement by mail by mid-to-late April, 2021.

In addition to Stamps Commencement Week, the University of Michigan has planned a series of graduation-related activities and events, including photo opportunities and an in-person experience at Michigan Stadium: learn more at commencement.umich.edu.

Stamps Commencement Week events are listed below; additional details will be added in the coming weeks, and links to all events will be accessible at stampsgrads.org/classof2021. Mark your calendars, share with your family, and get ready to commemorate this special achievement.

Stamps Senior Show Reception

Friday, April 30 from 4-6.30 pm ET
Virtual Event

Join Stamps Gallery in celebration of the Stamps School of Art and Design Class of 2021. The Opening Reception for the Virtual Senior Exhibition, titled Please Stand By…, will take place on Friday, April 30 on Zoom at 4:00 pm. Families and friends, as well as the general public, are invited to join the Stamps community for remarks commemorating this momentous occasion in the careers of our student artists and designers.

The event will kick off with welcome remarks by Dean Guna Nadarajan, followed by faculty and graduate student instructors. Then, attendees will be invited to join a series of zoom meeting conversations, each focused on a different medium, hosted by a faculty member, and led by a student facilitator. These Zoom meetings will offer students, their families and friends to engage in lively discussions about them about their process of making work, challenges and triumphs during the course of the academic year. Attendees are free to join any of the meetings during each hour of the program, and may move freely between them.

Stamps Virtual Commencement

Saturday, May 1, 4:00 pm ET
Virtual Event

The Stamps School of Art & Design will honor the Class of 2021 with a YouTube Premiere commencement ceremony, viewable at stampsgrads.org/classof2021 at 4:00 pm ET.

Commencement Speaker: Nekisha Durrett (MFA ‘00)
Photo Credit: Farrah Skeiky

Artist and alumna Nekisha Durrett (MFA ‘00) will be our 2021 commencement speaker, offering her words of wisdom to the graduating class. Durrett's large scale public art, installations, and drawings result from her longtime interest in the graphic style of comics and advertising; the layered meanings that objects can hold; and the space where fantasy, imagination, and history can converge. Durrett's work seeks to manifest presence through arresting imagery and scale while bringing to the fore figuration and language that is often underrepresented or overlooked in visual culture.

Stamps leadership will read aloud the names of all class of 2021 graduates as part of the ceremony. Graduates: help us enliven and personalize this portion of the ceremony by filling out this survey by Tuesday, April 6 at 11:59 pm ET.

Commencement “Afterglow”

Saturday, May 1, directly following commencement (6:30 pm ET)
Virtual Event


Stamps faculty, alums and special guests will host the Stamps Commencement Afterglow, a virtual post-commencement gathering to say our goodbyes, meet one another’s families, and enjoy each other’s company. Featuring high energy contests (with real prizes), photo surprises, fireworks, and a special musical guest. Each graduating student will also get their “:30 on the mic.” - this Stamps commencement tradition gives each student a chance to express parting thoughts, offer gratitude, and share enthusiasm for the future.

Your Events!

Have a special virtual gathering planned to celebrate the Class of 2021? Stamps faculty, staff, and students are invited to submit your virtual event information for potential inclusion in our list of commencement week events. Note: event submissions should be accessible to all and follow U-M guidelines.