Listening and learning from alumni
November 17, 2014

NSCAD President Dianne Taylor-Gearing (second from left) takes part in a milling frolic with textiles students and members of the Gaelic Society in the Bell Auditorium.

For the first 100 days of her mandate as NSCAD’s 21st President, Professor Dianne Taylor-Gearing has pledged to listen and learn.

With almost 30 more days of listening and learning to go, Professor Taylor-Gearing has already heard from many of NSCAD’s alumni, whom she finds to be deeply passionate and committed to their alma mater. One of her very first meetings upon arriving was with the NSCAD Alumni Association during its annual general meeting and there have been dozens of meetings with individual alumni since.

Other events in which Dianne was delighted to meet  NSCAD alumni included the reception for Sandra Brownlee, 2014 recipient of the Saidye Bronfman Award for Fine Craft at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design, ROAR: An Art Auction for NSCAD, Dine by Design East and the I AM NSCAD alumni reception, held immediately following Portfolio Day with an open invitation for prospective students and their parents to join in. She sat down with Peter Wünsch, chair of NSCAD’s Alumni Association, and Justin West, who invited her to visit Peter Green Hall Children’s Centre where he introduces very young children to art.

In talking with NSCAD alumni, Professor Taylor-Gearing has a question to ask: “What can NSCAD do for you?”

It’s not meant as a conversation opener or as nicety, but as a sincere desire to find out how the university can engage its alumni, near and far, and welcome them back home to NSCAD.

“NSCAD alumni are so important to the continued health of this institution; they have wisdom and experience to offer and I value that so much,” says Prof. Taylor-Gearing. “I’m interested in having a conversation and engaging our alumni with the creative practise at NSCAD. What form can that take? I want to hear all those ideas.”

Read Professor Taylor-Gearing’s reflections of her tenure at NSCAD to date by reading her blog.

Or send her an email with your thoughts at