January 11, 2021 2020 Annual Report Conveys Resilience and Momentum

graphic image of cover of 2020 annual report

We were ready for 2020. Our momentum going into the year was powerful and accelerating.

Then a pandemic struck.

The year 2020 tested our resolve, our fortitude, our determination. It put our creative culture, ingenuity and innovation to the test. The challenges brought by both the coronavirus pandemic and race crisis in America could’ve halted the momentum of our college. But they didn’t. While we were challenged and faced struggles, we didn’t stop. Instead, these challenges brought to light needed change and ways to improve. And they strengthened the team within the college.

We brought technology, training and a lot of compassion to bear to equip our faculty and students to be able to thrive in most unusual times. And we addressed underrepresentation in our college and in the industry with authenticity and direct action.

The pandemic wasn’t the only headline in our college in 2020. We think you’ll see in our annual report that our student creativity soared. Our faculty resolve was amplified. We advanced our commitment to having a diverse and inclusive environment. The generosity of our donors was record breaking. We formed and strengthened key partnerships for the benefit of students. And we advanced the university’s land-grant mission to enrich the quality of life for people in our region and world.

It was a difficult year, yes. But with vision and bold leadership, we kept our focus on our faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends and on our creative culture—the keys to our long-term success.


Read the 2020 annual report


The year 2020 was indeed extraordinary—or “unprecedented” as we’ve heard many times. We’re eager to continue to learn, adjust and improve, to strengthen our legendary creative culture, throughout the decade of design and beyond, as together we explore, make and transform.