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January 2021

Dear RISD Alumni,

It’s a new year with many new beginnings. As RISD adjusts to 2021, hopeful and dedicated as always to its students and the cultivation of their talents, I look forward to building on our connections as alumni.

Join us now—by nominating a distinguished classmate for an Alumni Award, signing up to participate in one of our many affinity groups, writing a letter in support of your favorite faculty member for a Frazier Award, or making plans to go on a trip! RISD gave us a great gift in connecting all of us to each other. It’s now up to us to give those connections life.

I had these strong connections in mind when I read President Somerson’s announcement of her retirement in December. She has been a tireless advocate for bringing us together and for the campus community at RISD for many years, and I wish her the very best in her next chapter. Please join me in expressing my gratitude for her dedicated service. This week, you will hear from our Board of Trustees Chair who will provide an update on the presidential transition and search process.

Sincerely,Donald Choi signature
Donald Choi BArch 82 P 07
RISD Alumni Association

Photo of Rosanne Somerson
In late December, President Somerson announced her decision to retire as RISD’s president as of June 30, 2021. After June, she will assume the role of President Emerita, and begin a long-deferred sabbatical.
Read full announcement
Deborah Burke and Donald Choi at Alumni Association Awards 2019
Alumni Awards
Every year the RISD Alumni Association honors alumni who have manifested RISD’s core values and positively impacted their communities through their work. Help us identify the most dedicated and diligent of your former classmates and friends. Nominations are due February 5.
Nomination Form
Alumni at RISD reunion dinner
Reunions, Interrupted
Sadly, the Commencement celebration for RISD’s Class 2021 will be online again this year. So, for now, alumni reunions will return to RISD Weekend this fall for one more year. All alumni whose classes end in 0, 1, 5 and 6 should save the date to join us on campus. Watch this space in the months ahead for more details!
Commencement 2021 announcement
AmazonSmile logo
Here’s an easy way to support RISD: every time you shop, at no additional cost, AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. Just select "Rhode Island School of Design" when you sign up today!
Sign up now
Photo of student opening architecture plans.
31 in the AD100
31 RISD alumni made the 2021 Architectural Digest 100. In the world of design and architecture, no list is held in higher esteem.
Read more
Image of Washington Place
Zoom in on RISD
Hand-drawn by Charles Mueller BArch 84 and brought to life by Jordan Tager 19 FAV, scenes from our season’s greeting can live on—as your Zoom background.
Download images
Image of Art of Sales with Alicia Goodwin
The Art of Business
From online sales, to writing contracts, to marketing and doing your taxes—the Art of Business live webinar series is the RISD Career Center’s annual program that helps artists build bridges between creativity and the marketplace.
Register now
Photo of leaders of the alumni Zero Waste Affinity group
Advancing Zero Waste
Fueled by their passion for eliminating waste and finding creative solutions to environmental problems, three alumni are working together for change.
Read more
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Frazier Award
Who was your most excellent RISD teacher? The Frazier Award for Excellence in Teaching is accepting nominations until February 19. Full- and part-time faculty are eligible for recognition of their inspiring pedagogical practices cultivating student learning and critical thinking.
Nomination form
Aerial photo of island in Italy.
Anywhere but here...
We have all been cooped up for a long time—but take heart: the RISD Travel Program is making plans to set you free. How about Italy’s lakes region in August?
Learn more
Photo of alumni at discussion event.
Upcoming Club + Affinity Events
Wed, January 13
Mentorship Panel | Getting Your Start During a Pandemic

Thu, January 28
RISD Pitch

Thu, January 28
Arts & Culture at the Pittsburgh International Airport

More alumni events

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