Seventy-seven students received their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from Montserrat College of Art during Commencement ceremonies Friday at 10 am at The Cabot, 286 Cabot St., Beverly. The processional kicked off from Montserrat’s Hardie Building at 23 Essex Street at 9:45 am, led by bagpipes and student-designed banners.
New York Times best-selling author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka offered the keynote address to the class, and Graphic Design/Book Arts instructor Jesse Kahn was selected by the students to present the faculty address. Graduating senior Emily Fox was chosen by her classsmates to give the student speech. Mayor Michael P. Cahill gave the greetings of the City of Beverly.
Student and faculty awards were also presented. On Thursday night , May 16, at 6 pm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka presented a free public lecture at The Cabot, followed by a reception and viewing of his work in Montserrat College of Art’s Hardie Building, 23 Essex St. The event was sponsored by Eastern Bank.
Krosoczka, a former Montserrat faculty member, creates books with humor, heart, and a deep respect for his young readers—qualities that have made his titles perennial favorites on the bookshelves of homes, libraries, and bookstores.
“We are delighted that former faculty member, Jarrett J. Korosczka will return to campus to talk about his work, inspirations and publishing career. His list of accolades and awards for his books and projects continues to grow and we are excited that we will be able to share his story with us and the greater Beverly community,” said Montserrat President Kurt T. Steinberg, Ed.D.. “Each year, we are so happy to host the free public lecture and a chance for the community to meet an important artist the night prior to commencement as our gift to the community.”
First published at the age of 23, Krosoczka has more than 30 published books to his credit. Titles include several picture books, his wildly popular Lunch Lady graphic novels, and the Platypus Police Squad middle-grade novels. He also recently launched a new story arc in the Jedi Academy series with Star Wars™: Jedi Academy: A New Class.
Krosoczka is a two-time winner of the Children’s Choice Book Awards Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year and has been a finalist for the prestigious Will Eisner Comic Industry Award. He has delivered two TED Talks, which have collectively accrued more than two million views online. Krosoczka has been featured on NPR and can be heard weekly on The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live, a show focusing on books, authors, and reading. His Punk Farm, Lunch Lady, and Platypus Police Squad series are all currently in development for film.
Realizing that his stories can inspire young readers beyond the page, Krosoczka founded School Lunch Hero Day, a national campaign that celebrates school lunch staff, and Platypus Police Reading Squad, a program in which police officers read aloud to children in schools and libraries. A consummate advocate for arts education, Krosoczka also established the Joseph and Shirley Krosoczka Memorial Youth Scholarships, which fund art classes for underprivileged children, in his hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Krosoczka lives in western Massachusetts with his wife and children, and their pugs, Ralph and Frank.
View the commencement photo gallery here.