Award-Winning Screenwriter Kirk Ellis to Deliver Commencement Address for SFUAD

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Media Contact:

Lauren Eichmann

Santa Fe, N.M.—April 25, 2012—Santa Fe University of Art and Design announced that Kirk Ellis, an award-winning screenwriter and producer, will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at the university’s 2012 graduation ceremonies. Eighty-four students will graduate in 2012, including the inaugural class of SFUAD’s Graphic Design Department. The ceremony will be held May 12 at 10 a.m. in the university’s Greer Garson Theatre.

“Our graduating seniors have accomplished a lot during their time on campus, and we’re all very proud of their achievements,” said Larry Hinz, president of Santa Fe University of Art and Design. “We look forward to hearing from our commencement speaker, Kirk Ellis, who in addition to his many accomplishments is also a prominent Santa Fean. Kirk serves as chair of the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, and he is an inspiration to our new graduates as they begin their careers as professional artists.”

Ellis, a screenwriter and producer, won two Emmys and the Humanitas Prize for his work on John Adams, a seven-part HBO miniseries based on David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize–winning biography. Starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, the miniseries earned 13 Emmys and four Golden Globe awards. Ellis also received both the Writers Guild of America Award and the Humanitas Prize for the script.

Previously, Ellis won an Emmy, the Writers Guild of America Award and a Humanitas Prize for the ABC miniseries Anne Frank: The Whole Story, which he wrote and co-produced. “Hell on Wheels,” his episode of the TNT miniseries Into the West (filmed in Santa Fe), earned the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award for Best Drama Script, as well as a Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. His current projects include a feature film based on the life of the Marquis de Lafayette and an HBO film about the Fatty Arbuckle scandal of the 1920s.

In addition to commencement, Santa Fe University of Art and Design is holding a series of upcoming events related to the 2012 graduating class:

· On the evening of April 27, the Art and Photography departments will present the work of Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) graduating seniors at an opening in the university’s Fine Arts Gallery and Marion Center for Photographic Arts. The Art Department’s Bachelor of Arts (BA) graduating seniors will also showcase their work at a concurrent opening in the Thaw Art
History Center lobby.

· Also on the evening of April 27, the Graphic Design Department will host its inaugural BFA Thesis Exhibition at an opening at Tishman Hall 245 on the Santa Fe University of Art and Design campus.

· On May 1, the Creative Writing and Literature Department will launch the 2012 edition of Glyph, a literary journal edited and produced by students and featuring some of the department’s best student writing in creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry and screenwriting.

· The Contemporary Music Department will present several senior shows, beginning May 3 with the Balkan/Mideast Ensemble at O’Shaughnessy Performance Space. The SFUAD Bandshell Quadstock on Saturday, May 5, will also showcase student ensembles.

· The Moving Image Arts Department will host its juried show on May 7 at The Screen. This is a screening of films that students have made throughout the year, curated by a jury of faculty and staff members.

· The Performing Arts Department will showcase its senior thesis presentations May 8–10 in the Weckesser Studio Theatre.

For more information on Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s commencement and related activities, please visit or contact Lauren Eichmann at 1-505-473-6440.

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