The School of Art + Design invites you to participate in the 2018 School of Art + Design Convocation Ceremony on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in the Colwell Playhouse, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, Illinois.

The Convocation address will be given by Bernard Williams (BFA, 1988).

Bernard Williams is a native of Chicago. He holds a BFA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an MFA from Northwestern University. He also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Madison, ME. Williams has taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has completed numerous residencies around the United States. In 2009, a large temporary outdoor sculpture was mounted at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York. In 2013, Williams designed and installed two large temporary outdoor sculptures at the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis.

Bernard Williams embraces a range of formats for the expression of his interests and concerns. The artist investigates the complexities of American history and culture through painting, sculpture, and installation. Within these broad arenas, the work seeks a kind of open-ended dialogue, addressing identity, flattening hierarchies, and questioning who we are collectively. Risk, adventure, conquest, personal status, privilege, and mechanical development are some of the thematic concepts which are pushed into form.

An invitation to the 2018 Art + Design Convocation Ceremony and Reception will be sent by mid-March to your family at your permanent home address inviting your family and friends to attend these events. We ask that you or your family complete the Convocation Ceremony Form, by April 20, indicating the number of guests that will be attending the ceremony. Students may also complete the Convocation Ceremony Form online, and we encourage you to do so.

Tickets for the ceremony are required for family members and guests, including babies and toddlers, but not for students. Graduates must pick up guest tickets from Room 143 Art + Design Building. Four tickets are guaranteed if picked up by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 30. Additional tickets may be picked up on Wednesday, May 2 on a first-come, first-served basis. Graduates will receive an email once the tickets are printed.

Immediately following the ceremony, a reception to honor graduates, families, and friends will be held in the Link Gallery, adjacent to the School of Art + Design. The 2018 BFA Graduate Exhibition in the Krannert Art Museum will be viewable by visitors to the reception.


Students and Faculty wear traditional academic regalia (cap and gown) for the Convocation Ceremony. Student orders may be placed online at The final day for ordering a cap and gown without a late fee is April 12. For further information about ordering regalia, please consult the university-wide Commencement website.
Students may also order academic attire in person in the Author’s Corner, Illini Union Bookstore. The schedule for these on-campus dates is included in the academic attire section of the student instructions page on the university-wide Commencement website.

Diploma Presentation

Please submit your Convocation Ceremony Form by Friday, April 20 to guarantee that your name is called during the Presentation of Diplomas.

Ceremony Instructions

Please be at the Colwell Playhouse promptly at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 13 for procession instructions. Directional signs will be posted in the Krannert Center Lobby. Enter through the backstage area by taking the North Elevator to Level 2, and then make a right turn and an immediate left onto First Street to the backstage of the Colwell Playhouse Theater. As you enter the backstage area register with the Art + Design representative.

Locate your seat on the stage. Your name will be printed on a card and placed on your seat. Seating will be by program in alphabetical order.


The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts requests that we do not use confetti, silly string, or any other material that will litter the stage.

Campuswide Commencement Ceremony

The University-wide Commencement Ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Memorial Stadium. Visit the Commencement website or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for questions about the campuswide ceremony.

Keep In Touch

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Helpful Links

Convocation Ceremony Form