Posted December 9, 2020

Graduating Tyler students receive a special class gift

In addition to a diploma, Tyler School of Art and Architecture presents graduates with a work of art made by an alumnus.

Polly Apfelbaum wearing a pom-pom hat she designed.
Photography By: 
Courtesy of Polly Apfelbaum

Each year during its Commencement ceremony, Tyler School of Art and Architecture presents its graduates with a unique work of art made by an alumnus.

Launched in 2019, the initiative is called the Diploma Project. Its intent is to connect two generations of artists and acknowledge Tyler’s rich history. In the project’s first year, the Class of 2019 received a limited-edition print designed by Edgar Heap of Birds, TYL ’79, in collaboration with students in Tyler’s Printmaking program.

When Temple’s in-person Commencement ceremonies in May were replaced by virtual celebrations due to COVID-19, Tyler students not only missed the opportunity to cross the stage to receive their diplomas, they also missed the opportunity to receive their Tyler graduation gift.

Now, just in time for cold weather, the Class of 2020’s gifts are being delivered to graduates’ homes, and they are more timely than ever—pom-pom hats designed by one of Tyler’s most distinguished alumni, Polly Apfelbaum, TYL ’78, and knitted by students in the school’s Fibers and Material Studies program.

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