Two student volunteers in masks during orientation


Our magazine shares stories of success and impact. Learn how donors and volunteers are making a difference for students, building community and securing a bright future for RISD students and faculty.

Fall 2021

This issue introduces you to RISD students, donors and volunteers who will inspire you with their creativity and commitment to build a better world. Interim President Dave Proulx discusses the college’s efforts to ensure a safe learning environment during COVID and impressive progress on strategic priorities. Generous donors make it possible for RISD to hire new faculty as part of the Race in Art + Design initiative and begin a transformative renovation of the Jesse Metcalf Building. The RISD Museum highlights preprofessional opportunities it offers students. Leaders of the RISD Black Alumni affinity group discuss why they founded the group and preview future plans. The RISD Alumni Association shares updates about the recipients of the 2021 Alumni Awards, featured programs offered during RISD Weekend and plans for Commencement and Reunion Weekend in 2022.

Stewarding a Great Institution

It is an honor to help guide RISD while it searches for a new president and continues to make impressive progress on many fronts.

Interim President Dave Proulx

Learning Safely Together

Nothing was more important to RISD students last academic year than returning to campus and the hands-on educational experience only possible when working together in studios and classrooms.

Students in a classroom

Building Community with Art and Design

While scholarships make her RISD education possible, Leslie Ponce-Diaz assists other students in accessing needed resources.

Leslie Ponce-Diaz

Using Art and Design to Educate Others

With the support of financial aid, Taylor Varnado combines what she loves as she pursues a career in art and education.

Taylor Varnado

Thankful for a Strong Ladder

Transfer student Gregory Fawkes is energized by the creative opportunities at RISD that his scholarship has made possible.

Gregory Fawkes

Helping Young People Thrive

Paul Harvey left his estate to RISD to ensure that future generations of students can learn about art and design.

Artists Notebook

Enhancing Access

By endowing a fund for financial aid, Garrow Throop ensures future generations have the opportunity for the life-changing RISD experience he enjoyed.

Garrow Throop and his wife in the spires of Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Turning Heartbreak into Hope

Years after leaving RISD for financial reasons, Joy Hallinan makes a legacy investment in future generations of RISD students.

Joy Hallihan in her office

Getting Creative

By bequeathing his intellectual property, Oren Sherman is initiating an exciting new avenue of philanthropy at RISD.

Oren Sherman Mad for Plaid

Ensuring Access to RISD Graduate Education

An anonymous donor makes a long-term investment in the futures of promising students.

Student's working on an industrial design model

A New Day for Metcalf

Philanthropy kicks off the renovation of this making and learning hub serving hundreds of students each year.

Polly Spenner 10 T X, right, standing with guests in front of the jacquard loom in the Metcalf Building at RISD Weekend 2019.

Introducing New Faculty in Race in Art & Design

Thanks to generous donors, RISD has hired its first cluster of outstanding faculty to increase diversity of scholarship, teaching and practice.

Social Equity and Inclusion Cluster Hire Headshots

Enriching Art and Design Education

RISD Museum preprofessional programs provide new avenues for learning and career development.

Two students film a professor in the RISD Museum

Engaging the Black Diaspora

The RISD Black Alumni affinity group is building community and working to involve more alumni and students.

Celebrating Distinguished Alumni

The RISD Alumni Association will honor outstanding alumni at Commencement + Reunion Weekend 2022 (June 2–5, 2022), both the 2021 recipients announced here and the 2022 awardees to be selected in the spring.

RISD Alumni Awards 2021

RISD Weekend Goes Hybrid

A new model, better able to accommodate families and alumni unable to travel to campus, brought the community together to celebrate this fall.

RISD Craft

Bringing Together Generations of Graduates

Linking commencement and alumni reunions provides a shared time of celebration.

RISD Students at Graduation

Advancing RISD’s Aspirations

Building upon a strengthened foundation of philanthropy and volunteer service, the RISD community is driving progress across the institution.

O'Neil Outar