Nova Scotia Needs NSCAD

(I originally posted this as a comment to Jian Ghomeshi’s opening monologue for CBC Radio’s Q. As a NSCAD grad, I think it’s essential to spread the message about what’s happening at the school. Any support you can provide would be appreciated.)

When I was 16 I worked for a summer with a graphic design agency in Halifax. It made me realize that my destiny was to become a designer. I started at NSCAD in 1991, and spent five very full years exploring as many aspects of the school as possible, eventually graduating with a bachelor degree in Communication Design (at the time, the only degree of its kind in Canada and among a very small group in the US).

In the 15 years since graduating, I moved away, worked for several companies, came back to Halifax and started a family here. I also used the lessons I learned in the NSCAD design programme to start a successful web design & marketing agency that currently employs seven people in downtown Halifax.

I have had the honour of serving NSCAD as a sessional professor, as a marketer and designer, and now as a member of the alumni association board of directors. Virtually all of my classmates are working in their chosen field and we are spread across the globe. They live and work in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, London, Milan, NYC, San Francisco, Tokyo and beyond. These designers, business owners, agency professionals and independent artists make a huge mark on the global economy. And I’m just talking about the 16 people who graduated from my department!

My fellow alumni are also quite likely to be entrepreneurs, and many of us lead successful companies all over the world. These companies make a major contribution to our respective economies.

This school is worth saving. It gave the world to me and I hope it can continue to do so to thousands of other students. My oldest daughter, nearly eight now, shows enormous artistic aptitude.

I hope when she graduates from high school, an independent NSCAD University is one of her options for a post secondary institution.

PS: we’re profiling some of NSCAD’s current students and alumni on this blog: http://nscadnow.tumblr.com. People can also donate to the school’s annual fund, which would certainly help our case with Howard Windsor.

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