David Moon Ki Lee commencement keynote address

David Moon Ki Lee commencement keynote address

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

David Moon Ki Lee, Nicholas W. Benson, Marva Griffin Wilshire and Dorothy W. Ford. Courtesy of the honorees. 

May 8, 2024
David Moon Ki Lee commencement keynote address
MacArthur Fellow Nicholas W. Benson and curator Marva Griffin Wilshire will receive honorary degrees; Dorothy W. Ford will be awarded the President’s Medal of Honor
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
20 Washington Place
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
United States
Instagram / Facebook

On Saturday, June 1, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will award degrees to 522 undergraduate and 253 graduate students at its 141st Commencement ceremony. Commencement 2024 will take place at 9 am ET at the Amica Mutual Pavilion in downtown Providence followed by a community reception in Market Square to toast the Class of 2024. For more information on RISD’s 2024 Commencement and to view the ceremony streaming live on June 1, visit risd.edu/commencement.

David Moon Ki Lee 00 GD, chief creative officer of Squarespace, will deliver the keynote address. Engraver Nicholas W. Benson and curator and SaloneSatellite founder Marva Griffin Wilshire will receive honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees. In addition, Dorothy W. Ford will be awarded the President’s Medal of Honor.

David Moon Ki Lee, keynote speaker
David Moon Ki Lee 00 GD serves as the chief creative officer of Squarespace, leading their award-winning team responsible for the company’s brand strategy, creative, design and production efforts. Honored as Brand Chief Creative Officer of the Year by Ad Age, David’s visionary leadership has driven his team to achieve recognition as Ad Age’s In-House Agency of the Year. Under his guidance, Squarespace’s internal agency has been celebrated as Brand of the Year by the Art Directors Club and recognized as the foremost globally awarded in-house agency by the One Club for Creativity. Since joining Squarespace, David has garnered an Emmy Award for Outstanding Commercial of the Year, earned a spot on the Adweek Creative 100 List, and been named one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. David has recently been recognized by Gold House in the A100 list, honoring Asian Pacific leaders who made the greatest impact on culture and society. He has served on RISD’s Board of Trustees since 2021.

Nicholas W. Benson, honorary degree recipient
Nicholas W. Benson is owner of the John Stevens Shop in Newport, Rhode Island, which was founded in 1705 and specializes in the design and carving of lettering in stone. He studied calligraphy and letterform design at the School of Design in Basel, Switzerland before taking over ownership and management of the shop in 1993. He has designed and carved inscriptions on many civic memorials, including the National World War II Memorial, the National Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the National Eisenhower Memorial. He has also designed and carved inscriptions for many notable universities, including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Brown and Dartmouth, as well as private commissions for prominent institutions and families. The grandson of late RISD professor John Howard Benson (designer of RISD’s seal), he received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 2007 and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010. He lives in Jamestown, RI with his wife Alix and their children, Hope and Henry.

Marva Griffin Wilshire, honorary degree recipient
Marva Griffin Wilshire was born in Venezuela and adopted Milan as her home city when she began working in the design and furniture world. Since 1990 she has served as international press director at Salone del Mobile Milano, where she currently serves as ambassador of international relations. In 1998 she founded SaloneSatellite, which in May 2014 received the Compasso d’Oro XXIII Lifetime Achievement Award. She also earned the Ambrogino d’Oro Award for Civic Merit in 2017 and, in 2021, an Honorary Master’s Degree in Product Service System Design from Politecnico di Milano. Since 2001, she has been a member of the Philip Johnson Architecture & Design Committee of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. In 2016, she became ambassador for Italian Design Day, presenting talks in Seoul, Montréal, Miami, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Guatemala City, New Delhi/Mumbai and Johannesburg/Cape Town.

Dorothy W. Ford, President’s Medal of Honor recipient
Dorothy W. Ford served as the coordinator of RISD’s Minority Affairs/Third World Office from 1973–2000. She advocated for students of color and principles of social equity and inclusion long before such ideas were adopted nationwide. Her commitment impacted the lives of generations of RISD students and built the foundation for RISD’s current Social Equity and Inclusion plan, Project Thrive and other initiatives supporting students of color.

RSVP for David Moon Ki Lee commencement keynote address
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
May 8, 2024

Thank you for your RSVP.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.