Commencement 2020

Friday, May 15 at 10 a.m.
The Cabot
286 Cabot St., Beverly MA.

Seventy-five seniors are expected to receive Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from Montserrat College of Art during Commencement ceremonies Friday, May 15 at 10 am at The Cabot, 286 Cabot St., Beverly. The procession will kick off from Montserrat’s Hardie Building at 23 Essex Street at 9:45 am, led by bagpipes and student-designed banners. It will march down Cabot Street and spectators are welcome to watch.

This year’s keynote speaker will be artists and architectural historian Azra Akšamija, who is on the faculty of MIT in Boston. She will also receive an honorary doctorate of arts degree from the college. Student and faculty speakers will also be chosen and senior class awards will be presented. Other speakers will include President Kurt T. Steinberg and Academic Dean Brian Pellinen.

“We are delighted that an artist of Ms. Aksamija’s stature will be come to Montserrat to talk about her important, ground-breaking work,” said Montserrat President Kurt T. Steinberg, Ed.D. “Ms. Aksmija’s work will be on view in our Schlosberg Alumni Gallery, which is free and open to the public. We hope folks will stop in to view the exhibition.”

Azra Aksamija

Azra Akšamija, PhD is an artist and architectural historian. She is the founding director of the MIT Future Heritage Lab (FHL) and an Associate Professor in the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT). 

Her work explores how social life is affected by cultural bias and by the deterioration and destruction of cultural infrastructures within the context of conflict, migration, and forced displacement.

She holds graduate degrees in architecture from Technical University Graz (2001) and Princeton University (2004), and a PhD from MIT (2011). 

Akšamija is the author of two monographs, Mosque Manifesto (2015) and Museum Solidarity Lobby (2019), and editor of The Architecture of Coexistence: Building Pluralism (2020). 

Her artistic work has been exhibited in leading international venues, including the Generali Foundation Vienna, Liverpool Biennial, Secession Vienna, the Royal Academy of Arts London, Queens Museum of Art in New York, Design Week Festivals in Milan, Istanbul, and Amman. Her most recent work was shown at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization (2019), the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto (2020), and Venice Architecture Biennale (2020).

She received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2013 for her design of the prayer space in the Islamic Cemetery Altach, and most recently the 2019 Art Prize of the City of Graz.

Commencement is an invitation only event for families and friends of the graduating seniors.




Commencement 2019

View the commencement photo gallery here.

2019 Speeches
Photo Gallery


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2019 Commencement Speeches