Art & Design 2024 Convocation Speaker Announced!

January 4, 2024

1992 History of Art alumna, Nora Gainer, is our 2024 School of Art & Design Convocation Speaker. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. at Foellinger Auditorium.

Nora Gainer Doherty is the second oldest of the five Gainer sisters - all graduates of University of Illinois.  Currently the head of civic relations and partnerships at the Art Institute of Chicago, she credits the University of Illinois for her formative foundation that launched her career, albeit winding, in arts and culture. During her junior year she spent a semester in Siena, Italy and began her lifelong obsession with travel in general, and Italy in particular, where she lived for two years after graduation.  Following an early career in the hotel industry that sent her traveling all over the world, she found her way back to her home city and through the doors of the Art Institute where she currently cultivates creative partnerships across Chicago and Illinois, reinforcing the museum’s role as an integral part of daily life for all Chicagoans.

“My mother always sought out beauty, in small ways and big ways—whether it was fresh flowers on a table or taking us to museums around Chicago.  She believes everybody should have access to it, and this shaped my values. She’s also a firm believer that our only real obligation on earth is to ease the way of others. Beauty and service have always been my core road maps for life.” shares Nora.  Nora and her husband Ferdia Doherty co-own Farm Bar Lakeview and Farm Bar Ravenswood in Chicago and are the proud parents of Bébhinn (15), Aonghus (13) and Maude (10).

Graduates, please visit the Convocation page for more information.

portrait of Nora Gainer smiling
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