The Locus of Diversity

Posted on January 30, 2017

I wanted to reach out to our faculty, students, alumni, colleagues, and many friends in the arts to express the School of Art’s commitment to a diverse and global community. At a moment when we must each examine our own moral compass and reflect upon our ethical beliefs, I believe it is important for us as artists and art educators to take account of our history and the value of inclusion that has so greatly shaped American society.

From Andrew Carnegie, the founding figure of our university and a Scottish immigrant whose family came to America for greater opportunity; to our most influential alumnus, Andy Warhol, a first-generation American whose family emigrated from Ruthenia (modern-day Slovakia); to our university president, Dr. Subra Suresh, who was born in Mumbai, and our provost, Dr. Farnam Jahanian, who was born in Iran, we are preceded and surrounded by those who came to America to exercise their freedom and forward-thinking ideas to the betterment of all.

In light of the recent executive orders from the White House affecting immigration and entry into the U.S. for nationals of seven countries, the School of Art expresses our concern and offers our complete support to any of our students who may be affected, or who have family and friends who may be affected. The School of Art’s diversity, within the greater diversity of a leading international research university, is a pillar of its ongoing accomplishments and future promise. The School of Art is a home to students from around the globe and across economic and cultural spectrums; it is a space of unwavering support for LGBTQ cultures; and it is a location for the pursuit of new ideas, new forms, and open critical discourse.

The School of Art is made up of a community of artists united by the belief that creative expression and critical thinking require a rich ecosystem wherein multiple cultures inform and learn from each other. It is from these shared beliefs that the space of art school becomes one of progress, inclusion, experimentation, and conceptual freedom, and it is this open and inclusive environment that I am committed to maintaining as head of school.

Thank you,

Charlie White
Regina and Marlin Miller Head of School
School of Art
Carnegie Mellon University

Photo: Top from left: Na Eun Cheon, BFA ’20; Alexandra Horton, BFA ’20; Jarel Grant, BFA ’17; Charlie White, Head of School; Charlotte-Alyss Weissglass, BCA ’18; and Joni Sullivan, BHA ’17
Bottom from left: Ava Kling, BFA ’20; Yelim Kim, BFA ’20; and Emma Furusho, BFA ’20