8.28.18 | Dear Students: Convocation
Yesterday, at CCAD’s Convocation ceremony, I had the privilege of welcoming those of you who are new to our community. I talked about what it means to be a member of the CCAD family, and I wanted to share my remarks with all of you as a reminder of that. And continuing students, perhaps my words will bring back memories of what it felt like when you first stepped under the ART sign:
Today, I have the opportunity to truly address you as CCAD students for the first time—you’re part of the family now, and in a family, you don’t just get the congratulatory pat on the back and words of encouragement; you also get the truth, and, of course, the love that is infused into the critiques as deeply as it is the compliments.
So, now that we’re family, it’s time for the reality check. Now it’s time for me to hold you accountable as only a member of your family could.
You made it to CCAD—you are exceptional. By definition, that means you were excepted from the rule, from the norm. But, look around, you are all exceptions, you are all exceptional, which means you are all now the new norm. The CCAD norm.
On the one hand, it will be a wonderful thing to be part of the group—you’ve found your people. Maybe you felt like an outsider before, but here you will thrive in a community of like-minded folks.
Perhaps you’ll find your group who would rather watch a Steven Universe marathon than a football game on TV. Or you’ll find your friends who want to spend Saturday night at Gallery Hop to actually see the art and not just eat the free food. Whatever drives you, I have no doubt you’ll connect with others here at CCAD who share your passions.
On the other hand, some of you will struggle with no longer being the exception, with no longer being THE artist. Some of you will have a moment of self-doubt and panic when you realize you may not be the best.
But, never fear! You’ll survive that feeling. In fact, it’s good for you! Just like your broccoli and carrots. If you remain sure that you’re the best, then CCAD will likely not have much to offer you. It’s true that great art and design are born of creative talent, but they are also born of hard work, practice, and study. Only when you recognize that you have more to learn, when you are eager to best your peers—more importantly, to outdo yourself—will you strive to become a better creative. And when you are striving, that’s when your faculty, your peers, all of us at CCAD can push you forward. At moments, it may feel like you’ve just been pushed off the ledge, pushed out of the nest, but in those moments trust that you’re ready to fly.
Finally, as a member of our family, we at CCAD have certain expectations, and we will hold you responsible to live up to them. These expectations are encompassed in our Core Values: Accountability, Respect, Positivity, and Inspiration.
ACCOUNTABILITY: We expect you to work harder than you ever have before. Each time you register for a course at CCAD, you make a commitment to yourself, to your classmates, to your faculty members, to those paying the tuition. So show up. Do the work. Push yourself further. Don’t be satisfied with “good enough.” You’ll be a better artist or designer for it.
RESPECT: We expect you to represent CCAD with honor. As a student, and in the future as an alum, you are an ambassador for your college. I hope that means you participate in the Columbus creative community with grace and eagerness. That you support the arts however you can. And that you encourage others to join CCAD, whether as a student, friend, or attendee of events. You’ll be a better community member for it.
POSITIVITY: We expect you to care for the CCAD community—your chosen family—as you would your biological family. Take care of your peers—be kind to one another and talk out your problems when you have them (with the help of our staff, if needed) rather than launching into social media rants. Take care of your campus—treat the spaces in which you’ll be living and working as you would your home—a home where your mom isn’t here to pick up after you. You’ll be a better person for it.
And, INSPIRATION: Most importantly, we expect you to have a positive impact on the world. You will use the talents you develop at CCAD to create something of beauty, to challenge convention, to delight an audience, to ensure a company’s success. But you also have the opportunity to take what you learn here and use it to make the world a better place. And you don't have to wait until you graduate. Start now. Make a difference today. You’ll be a better creative citizen of our world for it.
Good luck this year. Enjoy every moment of your time at CCAD!
Dr. Melanie Corn