Interior Designer Thom Filicia will be the keynote speaker at the New York School of Interior Design’s (NYSID) 2013 commencement ceremony, and will also receive an honorary doctorate degree, along with designer Betty Sherrill and editor Susan Szenasy, on May 23.
“We are so pleased that Thom Filicia will be our commencement speaker this year,” said NYSID President David Sprouls. “He is known not only for his engaging TV persona, but also for his ability to create stunning modern, yet classic interiors for a range of clientele.”
Here is a bit more about the honorees:
Filicia worked for several renowned design firms including Parish-Hadley before launching Thom Filicia Inc. His clients include Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez and Peter Jennings, and top names in finance, sports, and hospitality. Gaining fame on the Emmy-winning Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Style Network and HGTV, he has been named as a “Top 100 Designer” by House Beautiful and an “A-List” designer by Elle Décor. He is also the driving force behind the Thom Filicia Home Collection, which includes furniture, rugs, textiles, artwork, bedding, pillows, and more. Filicia is the author of Thom Filicia Style (2008) and American Beauty: Renovating and Decorating a Beloved Retreat (2012). Filicia graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design.
Sherrill, a native of New Orleans, moved to New York in 1949, where she attended Parsons The New School for Design. In 1951 she became an assistant to the president of McMillen Inc., the first professional, full-service interior design firm in America, founded in 1923 by Eleanor McMillen Brown. Sherrill has remained with McMillen, and her success at the company led to her appointment as president and chief executive officer in 1975. She continues to serve as McMillen’s chairman. Her daughter Ann Pyne is currently the president of McMillen.
Szenasy is editor in chief of Metropolis, the award-winning New York City-based magazine of architecture and design. Since 1986 she has lead the magazine through decades of landmark design journalism, achieving domestic and international recognition. She is internationally recognized as an authority on sustainability and design.
Szenasy served two terms on the boards of the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the Landscape Architecture Foundation. She’s on the board of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Interior Design department and Center for Architecture Advisory. She has been honored with two IIDA Presidential Commendations, is an honorary member of the ASLA, and the 2008 recipient of the ASID Patron’s Prize and Presidential Commendation as well as the SARA/NY medallion of honor. Szenasy holds an MA in Modern European History from Rutgers University, and honorary doctorates from Kendall College of Art and Design, the Art Center College of Design, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
The ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 23 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, NYC. NYSID is proud to graduate 114 candidates this year: 42 Master of Fine Arts, 21 Master of Professional Studies, 26 Bachelor of Fine Arts, and 25 Associate in Applied Science candidates.