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    2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient: Willie Real

    Willie Real was a student at the School of Visual Development at the Academy of Art University during a time when “everyone was saying 2-D animation was dying.”

    “Maya came in and 3-D animation was a big hit – Pixar had already created a few huge 3-D movies – I dipped into 3-D animation and illustration but the tools didn’t feel right,” he explained. “I like the feel of paper, it’s a little more tactile for me, so I decided to focus on visual development and put a portfolio together and it worked – the [Academy] was cool, because I was able to, in a way, create my own path.”

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    Class of 2018 Valedictorian: Ray Chang

    Academy of Art University selected Ray Chang of the School of Web Design & New Media (WNM) as one of this year's valedictorians. Chang came from Taiwan in 2013 to the Academy with no formal artistic training. Five years and many hours of work later, at the top of his class, he gave his valedictorian speech to hundreds of his instructors, classmates and their loved ones.

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    2018 Honorary Doctorate Recipient: Alberto Bertoli

    Academy of Art University has awarded School of Architecture (ARH)'s Alberto Bertoli with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his outstanding work in the field of architecture.

    Bertoli is a veteran architect with close to 50 years of experience in the field. His education began at University of Buenos Aires where he received his Bachelor of Architecture before continuing at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

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    2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient: Braden Summers

    Like many artists, Braden Summers had a background in art through private art lessons, he did not begin pursuing photography till early in adulthood. The Connecticut native was attending Boston University when he first picked up a camera doing work for a startup magazine. He was hooked. In fall of 2004, he transferred to Academy of Art University and graduated with his B.F.A. in 2008.

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    Class of 2018 Valedictorian: Pauline Capote

    Academy of Art University recognized B.F.A. School of Graphic Design (GR) student Pauline Capote as valedictorian during the 2018 commencement ceremony.

    Capote hails from New York and originally moved to San Diego to study graphic design at San Diego State then at the San Diego City College. It was there that she heard of the Academy and met GR Director Emeritus Mary Scott, who visited the school as part of an American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) final portfolio review.

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    ANM Celebrates Student Work at Annual Spring Awards

    Distinction in animation and visual effects work was recognized at the ceremony

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    This year's School of Animation & Visual Effects Spring Award winners. Photo by Alex Bocknek.

    On Friday, May 4, the School of Animation & Visual Effects (ANM) returned with a date appropriate Star Wars themed twist for their Spring Awards ceremony. The event, hosted in the Academy of Art University’s beautiful Morgan Auditorium at 491 Post, recognized students in 25 categories of distinction in animation and visual effects work across the B.F.A. and M.F.A. programs.

    The event played much like a junior version to larger award ceremonies like the Golden Globes with cheers, industry related gags (ANM Graduate Director and host Tom Bertino came on stage with a pair of Princess Leia buns) and, of course, elated winners taking home the big awards.

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