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Tim Gunn Awarded Honorary Degree, Special Speaker at Corcoran College of Art + Design 2009 Commencement Ceremony

WASHINGTON, DC.- Director and President of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design Paul Greenhalgh and Dean Kirk Pillow are proud to honor eminent fashion expert and Corcoran alumnus Tim Gunn with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, at this year’s College commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 23 at 4:30 p.m. at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.

“The Corcoran is extraordinarily honored to recognize Mr. Gunn’s exceptional contributions to the art and fashion community,” said Pillow. “We are excited he will join our graduating seniors and their families during this special time of celebration.”

Annually, the Corcoran College of Art + Design honors an artist who has contributed significantly to the advancement of his or her discipline and to the collective body of related knowledge in the visual arts. Past recipients of this prestigious award include: Annie Leibovitz, photographer (2008), Phyllis Lambert, architect (2007), Sally Mann, photographer (2006), and Karim Rashid, designer (2005).

A Washington, DC native, Tim Gunn graduated from the Corcoran in 1976 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture. Before leaving for New York in 1983 where he established his career as a premier American fashion expert, television personality and Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne, Gunn served as assistant director in the College’s admissions office and taught a course in three-dimensional design.

“Tim always excelled in everything he did,” said Bill Christenberry, professor of Fine Art at the Corcoran College of Art + Design. “He was one of the most dedicated, passionate students I’ve taught in my entire career.”

Prior to joining Liz Claiborne Inc., Gunn served as a member of the administration and faculty at Parsons, The New School for Design, for close to 24 years. Currently, Gunn serves as co-host of the Emmynominated television program Project Runway, a reality-based fashion design incubator, the third season of which broke all cable viewer ratings records.

Project Runway is the recipient of a GLAAD Media Award (2007) and the Peabody Award (2008). In 2008, Gunn also completed the second season of his own show, Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, which is based on his book, Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style, published in 2007.

Gunn has lectured widely on fashion and lifestyle design and Parsons’ profound role in putting America on the global design map. His interviews have appeared in a diverse range of publications, from Newsweek and The New York Times to Entertainment Weekly and Martha Stewart Living, as well as Women’s Wear Daily and People. He has also garnered much broadcast coverage. Gunn covered the red
carpet at the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards and Golden Globes in 2006, 2007 and 2008 for The Today Show and Entertainment Tonight. In 2009, he covered the red carpet for the Academy Awards Pre-show on ABC. He has written articles for Elle, Seventeen, People and US Weekly. He was also named one of People magazine’s “sexiest men alive” in 2006.

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