MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (May 7, 2018) — For Milligan College Professor Art Brown, Saturday’s commencement was bittersweet. He watched his first class of graphic design graduates walk across the stage, officially embarking on their journey towards careers in design.
Megan Gaylor (Knoxville, Tennessee), Keila Lau-Lopez (Washington, D.C.) and Candace Tingle (Kingsport, Tennessee) joined 178 other Milligan graduates in the two commencement ceremonies held in Seeger Chapel.
“I am so proud of them,” said Brown. “The three of them have accomplished a lot over the past four years—from being the first students in the first offerings of the new graphic design courses, to winning awards in competitions, being chosen for internships, presenting their senior showcase exhibit last November and creating excellent design work for our community on and off campus.”
The graphic design majors each took introductory classes from Brown before Milligan launched the major in 2015, creating a comprehensive curriculum that combines creativity and artistic abilities with technology to teach students visual communication and problem solving with many applications in numerous sectors of the job market.
For Lau-Lopez, it was her first design class with Brown that inspired her to pursue the major.
“I discovered that I enjoyed graphic design because it involved equal measures of creativity and problem solving,” said Lau-Lopez.
She also is thankful for Milligan’s liberal arts foundation.
“It pushed me to develop my skills not only in my majors of choice, but also in other tangential artistic fields such as theatre and studio art. Our fine arts and communication departments often worked together, too, strengthening my real world experience.”
Lau-Lopez plans to pursue her Master of Fine Arts and ultimately wants a career that can utilize
her skills both in graphic design and photography.
Megan Gaylor, of Knoxville, Tennessee, said that Brown helped her grow significantly as a designer over the years.
“One of the best aspects about Milligan is the caring faculty who want to see you grow and succeed, such as Professor Brown,” said Gaylor, who earned a gold ADDY for a self-promotional package design in 2016. “He’s always asking students questions to help make their designs better. It’s helped my design and problem solving abilities.”
Tingle developed a passion for graphic design because she feels it’s so important to the visual marketing that surrounds everyone.
“The visuals we see every day impact the decisions we make,” said Tingle, “whether we buy a certain brand of food, like a style of clothing, become interested in a new movie—graphic design is always around us.”
Tingle has been interning at Eastman Chemical Company for over two years and was recently offered a full-time job as a graphic designer that she will start this summer.
“I am so thankful for all the opportunities Milligan has given me, from the people I’ve met around the world, to the projects and assignments I have been given,” said Tingle. “I have made friends who I will stay close to for a lifetime.”