Senator Shaheen to Give NHIA Commencement Address

Jennifer Robertson on 04.05.18

Manchester, NH (April 5, 2018)The New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA) announced today that its 2018 commencement speaker will be United States Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

The first woman in U.S. history to be elected both a Governor and a United States Senator, Jeanne Shaheen has been committed to serving the citizens of New Hampshire and is known for her common-sense leadership, hard work and dedication to improving the lives of the middle class. She has long been an advocate of equal pay for women and more recently the fight to end sexual harassment in the workplace.

“We’re honored to have Senator Shaheen address our graduates and their families,” said NHIA president Kent Devereaux. “Through her very vocal, passionate, and visible presence on the national landscape advocating on behalf of not only women’s rights but the rights of all Americans, Senator Shaheen has been an inspiration and a role model to many young women aspiring to bring about change in the world.”

The New Hampshire Institute of Art will also award Senator Shaheen an honorary doctorate at the commencement ceremony, which will take place at the Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover Street, in Manchester, New Hampshire on Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m.

In addition to Senator Shaheen, the college plans to bestow honorary doctorates on noted illustrator Tomie dePaola and the photographer and photojournalist Robert Freson at the commencement ceremony.

A longtime New Hampshire resident, Tomie dePaola has been a professional artist for over 60 years. He has taught art and theater in colleges in California and New England, and created art throughout his life. He has illustrated over 270 books for children of which nearly 25 million copies have sold. However, he is probably best known for creating the PBS television series Barney & Friends as well as the Strega Nona picture books. dePaola received his BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, his MFA from the California College of Arts in Oakland, and a doctoral equivalency in fine arts from Lone Mountain College in San Francisco. 

The photographer and photojournalist Robert Freson emigrated from Belgium to the USA in the late 1940s and worked as the studio manager for the noted photographer Irving Penn until he struck out on his own in the early 1960s. Freson subsequently photographed on assignment for LOOK, Vogue, Esquire, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, The London Sunday Times Magazine, The Telegraph, Marie Claire, and other media outlets. 

Numerous prominent public figures and artists have sat for portraits by Mr. Freson including Pope John Paul, Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal, Jordan’s Queen Noor, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Sophia Loren, William Burroughs, Marc Chagall, Alfred Hitchcock, and Salvador Dali, among others.

Freson has received numerous awards and recognition including over 60 Art Director’s awards and the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Photographers of America. His work and archives can be found at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

This year’s commencement will represent the forth year in the college’s 120-year history that the New Hampshire Institute of Art confers graduate degrees on students from its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Art in Art Education (MAAE) programs participating in the ceremony in addition to almost 100 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) students.