Read the Boston Globe Feature

January 25, 2017

Michael Sam, University of Missouri football star, NFL free agent and trailblazer, is an American football defensive end who made history when he came out as gay ahead of the NFL draft, making him the first openly-LGBT player to be drafted in any major American sport.  Since his announcement he has become an icon and pioneer for the LGBT community.

Hailing from a tiny Texas town and the seventh of eight children, Sam endured a childhood of adversity, challenges and pain.  With a portion of his early years spent living in a car with his mother, Sam developed steadfast determination to make a better life for himself, identifying sports as his ticket out.

In high school he went from water boy to star player, earning first-team All-District honors all four years.  He was the first in his family to graduate high school, and recalls the highlight of his life, when his mother wept at his graduation.  “I knew I had made my mother proud,” he said.

Sam was presented with offers from numerous schools and found his home and secured a scholarship at Missouri where his football career culminated in being named a first-team All-American and Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Predicted to be drafted early in the 2014 draft, Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams as the 249th of 256 players selected, after he came out as gay during an ESPN interview.  He is currently an NFL free agent.

In 2014 he was named one of GQ Magazine’s Men of the Year, was a finalist for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

Sam is convinced that everything happens for a reason and that maybe his purpose is now no longer the NFL but as an advocate and ally of LGBT.

He spoke to the Mount Ida audience of the struggles that lie ahead in the next four years and urged them to “Continue the fight.  Be an ally for LGBT.  If those before me like Reverend King and Jackie Robinson could do it so can I – and so can you. You are not alone – Now go tell someone you are thinking about them and love them.”

Dates of Exhibition: January 26, 2017 – February 26, 2017

A glance at historical undergarments from the 1850’s to the 1950’s and how these changed the way we experience the shape of the female body. Costume Designer Penney Pinette has researched and reconstructed undergarments that morph the look of a woman’s body.  The shape of the outer garment is enhanced depending on the era by the use of boning, caning and ruffles. Drawings of the finished outer garments will also be exhibited. Penny is an alumna of Mount Ida College’s Fashion Design Program. Recently, she completed a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Costume Design at Boston University

January 23, 2017

The School of Design is continuing its bi-monthly Art Foundation contest as way for students to show their art skills outside of the classroom. The second contest was a Character Design Challenge, where students drew an original character, by hand, in whatever materials they wanted. We received 20 submissions for this contest, which shows tremendous interest in these kinds of independent creative opportunities.


The winner, Tian Sang, is a student in the Animation program whose drawing was a standout among many excellent entries.

Eric Hunn, Chair of Animation and Game Design, sees great value in these independent opportunities:

“While we had a number of interesting submissions, Tian’s work delivered a really unique character design. Beyond her solid use of line, form, and staging, her design captured an intriguing charisma – a unique sense that this is a living, feeling creature realized on paper. It is also a pretty unique creation, which certainly helped it stand out. There’s also an intricacy in the level of detail that simply set Tian’s work ahead of the pack.

“These contests are hugely valuable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they push students’ creative problem solving skills. Allowing students to be creative within set guidelines and hard deadlines is, at a fundamental level, the kind of work they will be facing in the industry. While this is something that all of the School of Design courses tackle very well, these contests remove the classroom context and uniformity that environment can create. Students are able to see the wide array of creative solutions that their peers develop for the challenges of these contests, which ultimately pushes them to become better artists”

The next contest will require a 3-dimensional sculpture, engaging a different set of design skills. Come by the School of Design Gallery to see all the entries from the Character Design Challenge.