Greetings from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts


Hello my name is Kendall Phillips. I’m
the associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of
Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. Now you all are here to learn
a little bit about us, but I think already I may know a little something
about you. You are the young people who spent time in the back of buses heading to marching band competitions. You are the ones who learned one-act play lines
on the weekend instead of going out with your friends. You’re the folks who know
how to mix your own glazes. You’ve pursued talents, passions, throughout high school, and it’s made you a little bit different than your peers. At Syracuse
University, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, we believe that the
thing that makes you different is the thing that will make a difference. So if
you’re the kind of person interested in pursuing your passions, we hope you’ll
spend some time looking at the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Many of you are probably looking at a variety of art schools, music schools,
design schools, drama schools, and so you’re asking, what is it that makes
Syracuse University a different place to pursue your passion? At Syracuse
University, in our Department of Art in the sculpture program, we pour lava. Now you may be asking yourself, why do we pour lava? The simple answer would be
because we can. But there’s a better reason that we pour lava. We found out
that lots of people want to know more about lava, particularly scientists at
places like NASA want to understand how lava behaves in different environments, so periodically we have students from Earth Sciences and scientists from literally
around the world converge on our Comstock Art Facility to watch as our
sculpture students pour lava. This is just one example of the unique advantage
of studying the arts in a major research institution, and of course the difference
is not just here at Syracuse University. Students of Syracuse are literally
studying their passions around the world. For example, right now there are Bandier students in New York talking to record executives. There are art students in LA
learning about the art scene on the West Coast. There are drama students working at the Globe Theatre in London. There are design students studying in Hong Kong. There are film students in Prague and communications students in Madrid. Around the world there’s an orange band of the
College of Visual and Performing Arts where our students are pursuing their
passion, learning about the world, and trying to make a difference. We could
look at some of our well-known alumns, and we’ve got a lot of them. Aaron Sorkin for
instance, the producer of “The West Wing” and now “The Newsroom.” We’ve got folks like
actor Vanessa Williams, reporter Ted Koppel, actor Taye Diggs, actor Frank
Langella. You’ve seen “Despicable Me” or “Despicable Me 2,” both directed by one of our wonderful alumns Chris Renaud. Gianfranco Zaccai is a good example. Now this is a world-famous designer who’s made
all kinds of products and medical equipment, saved many lives, but you would probably know him as the man who designed the Swiffer. And of course there
are thousands and thousands of other alumns pursuing successful careers, and
we’re very pleased that overwhelmingly when we talked to our alumns, they report
that the education they received at Syracuse University, the College of
Visual and Performing Arts, has made a difference, has set them on a career of
success. So if you’re the kind of person who wants to pursue your passion where
it takes you, who wants to take the thing that makes you different and use it to
make a difference in the world, then I think Syracuse University might be the
right place for you, and we hope you’ll take the opportunity to ask some
questions and find out a little bit more about the Syracuse University degree.

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