Beret ceremony kicks off Class of 2023 celebrations

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Thursday, May 4th, 2023

To cheers and raucous applause, members of Pennsylvania College of Art & Design’s Class of 2023 received their berets Thursday evening, May 4. Berets, a symbol of their chosen creative path and the traditional artist’s headwear, will replace the mortarboards at Commencement Friday, May 5. 

Gathered in the campus’ LookOut, the soon-to-be graduates kicked off a weekend of celebration, which continues Friday with morning Commencement at the Barshinger Center for Musical Arts, and through the weekend with the three-day Senior Show on display throughout campus. 

Addressing the class, President Michael Molla spoke about perseverance and resilience — “the ability to persist in the face of challenges and obstacles … and the ability to bounce back from setbacks and recover from difficult experiences.” Both traits, he said, have been demonstrated by a class whose time in college has been defined, in part, by a global pandemic. 

‘You have had to adapt to new ways of learning, working, and creating,” Molla told those assembled. “We have all experienced loss, and for some of us, profound loss. But I believe that this experience has also taught you resilience, how to champion your creativity, and implement innovation. You have learned how to work with limitations and found new solutions.

“These skills will serve you well in the future, as you face new challenges and opportunities.”