AIE Lafayette and AIE Seattle held graduation ceremonies for their respective Class of 2016 cohorts. Both campuses welcomed graduates and their families to an evening event, filled with smiles and some joyful tears of celebration.

Lafayette
On Tuesday June 21st, AIE Lafayette recognized the hard work and accomplishment of its graduates for the 2016 school year. 16 smiling students received their diplomas amidst flashing lights and the cheers of their loved ones.

The commencement speaker was local Zachary Barker, Executive Director of Opportunity Machine, who impressed upon the students that “tonight is the first night of many fine accomplishments”. He urged them to go out and participate in the community – to join game development groups, get involved with community projects, and most importantly, to keep doing what they’re doing.

Kristie Chamberlain, Student Services Manager, along with Art and Programming Instructors Adam Folse, Donald Gremillion, and Matthew Williamson awarded each student with their diplomas. Head of School, Robin Couvillon, left students with two important messages: surround yourself with good people, with good character, who have a positive attitude toward their actions.

Secondly, the staff at AIE Lafayette has been a part of these graduates’ lives for two years – and vice versa – so “don’t forget that we are a family, and we are always here for you.”

Seattle
On Thursday June 23rd, AIE Seattle held its largest graduation ceremony thus far, with a total of 32 students receiving their diploma’s from our Game Art & Animation, Game Programming, and 3D Animation & VFX for Film programs.

Kate Edwards (Executive Director, International Game Developers Association) spoke to our graduates about their journey and conveyed a very important message for their new career: “Don’t think you are, know you are!”

AIE Seattle Head of School James Cardo led the ceremony, and our instructors Jim Millar (Game Art & Animation), Esmeralda Salamone (Game Programming), and Vic Bonilla (3D Animation and VFX for Film) talked about our programs for a little bit before handing out awards to their prized pupils. Jeffrey Johnson was the student nominated speaker, and gave an inspiring speech to the Class of 2016.

During the two years at AIE Seattle, a few students shined brighter than the rest, and were given accolades for their achievements:

  • Game Art & Animation Valedictorian, Megan Taylor
  • Game Programming Valedictorian, Urias Rooney
  • 3D Animation and VFX for Film Valedictorian, Jennifer Sheaffer
  • Head of School Legacy Award, Jeffrey Johnson

The graduation ceremony ended with lots of laughs and cheers, and was followed by a reception allowing students, families, instructors, and staff to mix and mingle for a while.
Graduation day provides an opportunity to celebrate the culmination of hard work, persistence, and determination for students who set a goal to improve their knowledge and understanding of specific areas of study. We at AIE, are proud to have assisted the Class of 2016, and look forward to working with them in the future as alumni of AIE!