Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) 2020 Graduation Ceremony

93 Degrees and Certificates Conferred on August 12, 2020


August 27, 2020

Joy Harjo: photo by Eric Davis, courtesy of IAIA

SANTA FE, NM: August 25, 2020 -- The Institute of American Indian Arts held their 2020 commencement ceremony at 11:00 am on Saturday, August 22, 2020. The event was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee) conferred 93 degrees on the graduating students, including undergraduate speakers Nancy Beauregard, Lydia Clark, and Jessica Cordes. Vivian Carroll (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) spoke for the MFA Students.

Commencement speaker, IAIA Alumna and two-term United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Nation) '68, provided stories from her time as one of the first group of students to attend IAIA and words of encouragement for the online viewers and graduating students. Additionally, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities.

IAIA President

Dr. Robert Martin: photo by Eric Davis, courtesy of IAIA

Dr. Robert Martin (Cherokee) commented: "Although we could not honor our 2020 graduating class and their families with a traditional commencement, Joy's keynote remarks and the student speeches and testimonials were inspirational, heartwarming, and emotional. Our virtual ceremony included both recorded and live streaming content -- which is a relatively complex undertaking -- but our production crew was top notch in creating a high quality, professional program that was a fitting and beautiful tribute for our graduates".

Offering undergraduate degrees in Studio Arts, Creative Writing, Cinematic Arts and Technology, Indigenous Liberal Studies, Performing Arts, and Museum Studies -- an MFA in Creative Writing -- along with certificates in Business and Entrepreneurship, Museum Studies, and Native American Art History -- IAIA is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. The school serve approximately 500 full time equivalent (FTE) Native and non-Native American college students from across the globe. IAIA is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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