PCA&D celebrates 41st Commencement with the Class of 2023

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Monday, May 8th, 2023

The Class of 2023 became Pennsylvania College of Art & Design’s 48 newest alumni on May 5, receiving their BFA degrees in front of a standing-room-only audience of family and friends at the Barshinger Center for Musical Arts. 

A recording of Commencement can be found below.

PCA&D was honored this year to welcome Steve Geist as Commencement Speaker. A 2006 Illustration graduate of PCA&D, Geist is an award-winning UX and Product Design lead who has built a career in product development, creating products that often center on the intersection between art, education, and entertainment. His career has continually evolved, from companies like classic LEGO to startups and in-depth freelance consultancy projects. 

The ceremony was opened with remarks by President Michael Molla, who spoke not only about the rapidly changing face of creativity in today’s world, but also about artists and designers who, through their passion and the work that results, inspire and build lasting, meaningful change.

And Molla noted that one way creatives can make a difference is to “embrace, even celebrate” their vulnerability.

“Vulnerability is often seen as a weakness,” Molla said “but in reality, it is a strength. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, you open yourself up to growth, learning, and connection. It takes courage to be vulnerable … but it is this very vulnerability that allows us to form deep, meaningful relationships with others.” 

As honoree and speaker Steve Geist took center stage, he spoke about the importance of play — not only for children, but for creatives of all ages. 

PCA&D’s Honorees at Friday’s ceremonies included: 

Trustees’ Award for Faculty Excellence: Eric Weeks, Chair, Photography & Video

Trustees’ Award for Staff Excellence: Jason Hartz, Chief of Staff & Director of Institutional Research

Distinguished Alumnus: Steve Geist ‘06, Illustration

Medal of Honor: Peter Danko, a York-based designer and master craftsman whose work in sustainable furniture design is housed in some of the nation’s most prominent museum collections. 

Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts: Ophelia Chambliss, a champion of what the arts can accomplish to opportunities for growth and community building, and the economic development of a city.

 Student Commencement Speaker: Alexia Eggleston

Departmental Awards:

Animation & Game Art: Taylor Richardson

Fine Art: Parker Galen

Graphic Design: Paige Alana Bowermaster

Illustration: Joshua Samuelson

Photography & Video: Sabrina Worthington

Liberal Arts: Xenia Honchar

Award for Academic Excellence (highest GPA): Tyler Handa and Sabrina Worthington

Mary Colleen Heil Vanguard Award: Alexia Eggleston

Founders’ Award for Excellence in Leadership: Kendall White

Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees were conferred upon:

Animation & Game Art:

Lauren Megan Antanavage, Adan Miles Harris, CamRyn Leighana Mickens, Noah Robert Regolino, Taylor Morgan Richardson, Rachel Lily Sinclair, Thomas E. Tynes. 

Fine Art: 

Cassie Mae Carver-Peters, Parker Galen, Bee Claire Grissinger, Emily Elizabeth Moyer, Cheyenne Dalia Nycz, Kelsie Nicole Reimer, Moselyn Sandy, Faith Ann Stiffey. 

Graphic Design:

Paige Alana Bowermaster, Tyler David Handa, Andrea Ho, Frankie Lynn Reed, Alexander Serna, Vivian Hoang Lam Tu. 


Sadie Gene Berndt, Alex Bojakowski, Hailey Rose Bortz, Andrew Dorsey Brandenburg, Shannon Margaret Bray, Veronica Serena Camp, Ezra Emin Davulcu, Bailee Grace Etzweiler, Samantha Jo Halfpenny, Xenia Elizabeth Honchar, Olivia Caitrin Kenny, Roman Kreal, Madison Ann Milewski, Paige Lillian Mosher, Alexis Ash Oldt, Mandi Elaine Powell, Joshua Christian Samuelson, Hunter Lynn Snider, Jasmine Leslie Stokes, Daria Lynn Syphrett, Kendall Janelle White, Castor Ziller. 

Photography & Video: 

Alexia Catherine Eggleston, Emily Gail Hornberger, Olivia Porsche Koziel, Rachel Rae O’Brien, Mark Shyshkovskyy, Sabrina Dianthe Worthington.