| May 16, 2011 |
NYSID gives honorary degrees to Graves, Oka Doner, and Durst
Boh staff
By Staff

New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) will present an Honorary Doctorate degree in Fine Arts to architect and designer Michael Graves, artist Michele Oka Doner and design advocate and IIDA CEO Cheryl Durst, who will also be the kyenote speaker for this year's commencement ceremony May 20.

"The School is very happy to confer Honorary Doctorate degrees on [Cheryl] Durst, NYSID International Advisory Board member Michael Graves, and renowned artist Michele Oka Doner—all outstanding individuals who have made valuable contributions to the world of design,” said NYSID President Christopher J. Cyphers.

Michael Graves is credited with broadening the role of the architect in society and raising public interest in good design as essential to the quality of everyday life.  A native of Indianapolis, Graves received his architectural training at the University of Cincinnati and Harvard University.

In 1960, he won the Rome Prize and studied at the American Academy in Rome, of which he is now a Trustee.  In 1962, Graves began a 39-year teaching career at Princeton University, where he is now the Robert Schirmer Professor of Architecture, Emeritus.  He has received 12 honorary doctorates and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.  Cited by Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker, as “the most truly original voice American architecture has produced in some time.”

Graves has received many prestigious awards, including the 1999 National Medal of Arts from President Clinton, the 2001 Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects, and the 2010 Topaz Medallion from the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.  Graves is the first designer inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, and the first recipient of the Michael Graves Lifetime Achievement Award from the AIA-NJ.

Michele Oka Doner is an internationally acclaimed artist whose prolific career spans four decades. Her artwork is represented in numerous prominent art museums and private collections in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Dallas Museum of Art, The St. Louis Art Museum, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, The Princeton University Art Museum, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The University of Michigan Museum of Art, The Miami Art Museum, The Yale University Art Gallery, and the Louvre in Paris.

Oka Doner is also renowned for creating over thirty-five public art installations throughout the U.S. and Europe, including A Walk on the Beach at the Miami International Airport and Radiant Site in Herald Square, New York. She has exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe and is represented by Marlborough Gallery, New York. A graduate of the University of Michigan with a B.S.D. and M.F.A. in Fine Art, she has lectured widely and received many awards, including the Award of Excellence from the United Nations Society of Writers and Artists: the Legends Award, Pratt Institute; and grants from the New York State Council of the Arts and the Kress Foundation.

The ceremony will be held in The Allen Room at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. This year, NYSID will graduate 23 MFA, 9 MPS, 52 BFA, and 61 AAS candidates.

Photo of Mr. Graves  courtesy of Michael Graves & Associates, photography by Barry Johnson; photo of Ms. Oka Doner courtesy of Michele Oka Doner, photography by Don Freeman.

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