Pratt Institute will honor an expected 1,400 bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates during its 122nd Commencement at 11 a.m. on May 16 at Pier 94, 775 Twelfth Avenue in New York City. Those being honored at Commencement include about 1,100 students who are expected to graduate this spring, along with about 300 who officially graduated in the summer and fall 2010 terms. The Institute also will award honorary degrees to Martin Friedman, former director of the Walker Art Center, and Mildred Friedman, former curator of design and architecture at the Walker Art Center; Tim Hawkinson, artist; Raymond McGuire, Citi head of global banking; and Janette Sadik-Khan, commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation. Sadik-Khan will deliver this year’s Commencement remarks.
For the first year in Pratt’s Commencement history, graduates will receive diplomas at Pier 94, a 208,000-square-foot exhibition area in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Overlooking the Hudson River, Pier 94 has played host to New York City Fashion Week and major trade shows, and is in close proximity to Manhattan’s Theater District, Times Square, and Central Park.
Martin Friedman and Mildred Friedman’s artistic oversight is responsible for overhauling the Walker Art Center, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, into one of the nation’s most esteemed museums for modern art. Serving as the Art Center’s director for more than three decades, Martin Friedman significantly expanded the Walker’s permanent collection, acquiring a number of iconic works by artists including Andy Warhol and Chuck Close. Friedman also promoted avant-garde and multimedia exhibitions and programs, including the establishment of the Center Opera Company, and Performing Arts and Film/Video departments. Together with Mildred Friedman, curator of design and architecture, he created the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a highly acclaimed joint effort with the City of Minneapolis, and the site of numerous works by leading American and international artists. The Friedmans have been influential in exposing the work of upcoming artists to new audiences through curatorial work and Martin Friedman’s numerous published articles. Since retiring and relocating to New York City, the Friedmans have continued to shape the art world by guest-curating museum exhibitions, serving as advisors to museums and other arts organizations, and collaborating with well-known architects. Martin Friedman currently serves as an art consultant for the Hall Family Foundation and as an art advisor to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for the development of the Kansas City Sculpture Park. The Friedmans have taken an active role in New York City’s artscape, with Martin contributing to the recent Socrates Sculpture Garden in Long Island City and Mildred consulting for the Battery Park City Authority.
Tim Hawkinson is a renowned contemporary artist whose work focuses on themes of distortion and alteration, with the body, nature, machines, mortality, and human consciousness as frequent subjects. Hawkinson uses a range of unassuming materials to give his art duplicity, including discarded and handcrafted objects, machine parts, and bodily ephemera such as his own fingernail clippings. Hawkinson is currently working on a 41-foot sculpture commissioned by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority that will be the final piece of the Transbay Transit Center’s public art program, in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission. The piece will be Hawkinson’s largest to date. Based in Los Angeles, Hawkinson has held more than 40 solo exhibitions and participated in nearly 90 group shows in the United States and abroad. In addition, his work is featured in the permanent collections of many of the nation’s most prestigious museums. Hawkinson is represented by The Pace Gallery and Blum and Poe.
Raymond J. McGuire is Citi’s head of global banking, which includes corporate and investment banking. He has responsibility for leading the coverage of global industries and clients, executing strategic transactions, and has advised on transactions valued at more than $200 billion. Mr. McGuire has previously served as global co-head of mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley; managing director in the mergers and acquisitions group of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.; and was one of the original members of Wasserstein Perella & Co., Inc., where he became a partner/managing director in 1991. He has been honored with such accolades as the Humanitarian Leadership Award from the Council of Urban Professionals, and was featured in Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.”
Janette Sadik-Khan is the current commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) where she is responsible for overseeing the budget, personnel, operations, and maintenance of New York City’s transportation infrastructure. Since her appointment by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in April 2007, Sadik-Khan has undertaken an ambitious plan to improve the city’s safety, mobility, and sustainability. Her leadership in creating the agency’s first-ever strategic plan, Sustainable Streets, laid the blueprint for the creation of the landmark Green Light for Midtown initiative at Times and Herald Squares, improved bus lanes and new Select Service Bus routes, and pedestrian areas created out of former roadspace. An avid bicyclist herself, Sadik-Khan has overseen the creation of more than 250 miles of on-street bike lanes to aid in the DOT’s goal of increasing safety and transportation options for all New Yorkers. Before joining the DOT, Sadik-Khan was a senior vice president of Parsons Brinckerhoff, a leading international engineering firm, and served as deputy administrator at the Federal Transit Administration in Washington, D.C. She has published widely on transportation policy, planning, and finance and policy management. Sadik-Khan holds a law degree from Columbia Law School.
For more information on Pratt’s Commencement, please visit: http://www.pratt.edu/commencement.
From left to right: Martin Friedman; Mildred Friedman; Tim Hawkinson; Janette Sadik-Khan; Raymond J. McGuire. Photography credits from left to right: Chuck Close; Chris Callis; Frank Jackson courtesy of The Pace Gallery; Olugbenro Ogunsemore; courtesy of Raymond J. McGuire.