Alumni + Friends

ROYGBIV System by Beth Keegan, BFA Exhibition 2022

From Pulitzer Prize winners to designers of iconic buildings to Tony Award winners, our alumni shape and inspire our world. They are creating a future filled with promise that holds the arts at its core.

  • Jim Graham Architect
    Alumni Profiles


    School of Architecture

    MArch 1992

    Jim Graham’s work encompasses a wide range of project typologies including commercial design, residences, workplace, and cultural spaces.

  • Amanda Schneider
    Alumni Profiles


    School of Art + Design

    BFA Industrial Design 2001

    Amanda Schneider is a strategic thinker with a strong background including industrial design, market research, product management, sales, and strategic launch practices with a breadth of furniture companies within the interiors industry.

  • Carol Ross Barney, Photo by Kate Joyce Photography
    Alumni Profiles

    Ross Barney

    School of Architecture

    BArch 1971

    As a young girl inspired to serve John F. Kennedy's call for a greater public good, Carol Ross Barney envisioned designing buildings not just for the elite but for all citizens to appreciate and thrive in. "Architecture is an important part of the search for answers to how people can live modern life."

  • Megan Lotts, Photo by Nick Romanenko
    Alumni Profiles


    School of Art + Design

    BFA 2000

    Megan Lotts remains grateful for the foundational skills she developed in her undergraduate career at Illinois. "Studying art taught me to think visually and critically through problem solving and innovation. It taught me the power of making something out of nothing."

  • Marie Roth
    Alumni Profiles


    School of Music

    BFA 2011

    Music education alumna Gail Kalver at the River North Dance Company "showed me that the opportunities with my degree were not as limited as I once imagined. Illinois has a huge network of alumni in every corner of the professional world. Use this common thread to your advantage, and don't be shy about asking people questions."

  • Michael Zhang Photo by Daryl Quitalig
    Alumni Profiles


    School of Art + Design

    BFA 2014

    "Meet people whose work you admire—reach out to them," Michael encourages students. "It doesn't have to be with the intention of finding a job. Ask to get coffee, or show them your work and ask for feedback. Do anything to break the ice."

  • Michelle Benda
    Alumni Profiles


    Department of Theatre

    MFA 2015

    The education and mentorship Michelle received from her professors gave her a much stronger voice as a lighting designer. It also refined her technical abilities. "My professors taught me to pay a lot of attention to detail—to things like paperwork and drafting," she notes. "Those skills set Illinois Theatre graduates apart. Employers notice the high quality of work that we do."

  • Anshuman Prasad Photo by Jeffrey Fiterman
    Alumni Profiles


    School of Architecture

    MSAS 2003

    Anshuman urges students to investigate what different departments have to offer. "Explore and find a way to use newly gained knowledge in your own field of interest," he encourages. "Studying architecture allowed me to make a relatively smooth transition to set design."

  • Katherine Roarty
    Alumni Profiles


    Department of Dance

    BFA 2011

    Katherine advises students to take advantage of their time in school. "You have the time and resources to create things with a sense of freedom because you have four years to really develop." She has one recommendation for current students: "Sink your feet in and soak up all that time without feeling regret or worry."

  • Kate Pond
    Alumni Profiles


    Department of Urban + Regional Planning

    BFA 2014

    "Experience is key. You need to find things that interest you and then mold them into something you enjoy and want to do." Empowered by her Illinois education and training, Kate was confident working in an environment with major societal impact as the scheduler and assistant for Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos.

  • Judy J. Lee
    Alumni Profiles

    Judy J.

    School of Art + Design

    BFA 2010

    Even though conservatories can produce great artists, Judy J. Lee was interested in a more well-rounded education. At Illinois, Judy not only developed her technical skills but also studied art as a business and gained hands-on design experience abroad.

  • Eric Wall
    Alumni Profiles


    School of Architecture

    BSAS 2012

    A graduate-level design studio with a two-week residency in Japan gave Eric a completely different perspective on his field. "That studio shook up what I thought defined architecture. I was looking at it from a whole new lens."

  • Aaron R. White
    Alumni Profiles

    Aaron R.

    Department of Dance

    BFA 2011

    Aaron attributes his professional success to the skills he cultivated as a student with Dance at Illinois. "I became a smart artist."

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