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Alumni Awards

The Massachusetts College of Art and Design Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments, service, and impact our alumni have made in their professional practice and in their communities. The award is an honor of high distinction presented biannually to an individual who embodies MassArt’s most cherished values and meets certain criteria

2021 Alumni honoree 

Jennifer Morla '78 BFA Graphic Design
Since opening Morla Design in 1984, Jennifer Morla has paired wit and elegance on everything from motion graphics and branding to retail environments and textiles. She is the recipient of graphic design's most honored awards: The Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and the AIGA Medal.

Morla’s work is part of many permanent museum collections including MoMA, SFMoMA, and the Smithsonian. She lectures and judges internationally and has taught at California College of the Arts for over 20 years. 

Her book, Morla : Design, published by Letterform Archive, offers insight into her creative process and features 150 of her studio’s projects.

In 2021, the Distinguished Alumni Award was conferred on Jennifer Morla at the Academic Awards Virtual Ceremony on May 21, 2021. You may view her Spring 2021 Visiting Artist Lecture.

Alumni award criteria

MassArt Distinguished Alumni will consistently demonstrate at least one of the criteria listed below:

  • Mastery - Nominee has developed a mature body of work, achieved an outstanding level of recognition during a significant career in the arts, or has significantly influenced contemporary practice through their creative accomplishments
  • MassArt Spirit - Embodies the character of MassArt
  • Mission and Values - Sustains advocacy for the mission and values of the college, either through actions or philanthropic support
  • Innovation - Advances the potential, pushes the boundaries of expectation, or creates new ways of thinking in their field of practice
  • Creative Economy - Nominee has made significant contributions to the creative economy either through their work or through professional-to-student involvement
  • Citizenship and Community - Engages in the well-being of society or has made a significant commitment to community service through the arts. Fosters community-building, diversity, good citizenship, inclusiveness, sustainability, or social justice
  • Young Alumni Achiever (Emerging Alumni Achiever) - Outstanding achievement by a MassArt alum in the first 10 years post-graduation


Who is eligible to nominate someone to be considered for a MassArt Distinguished Alumni award?
Nominations are welcomed from MassArt alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the college. You may nominate more than one person, but please submit a separate nomination form for each individual.

Who can be nominated for a MassArt Distinguished Alumni Award?
MassArt alumni can be nominated individually or as key members of a collective or organization.

How is the MassArt Distinguished Alumni Award honoree selected?
Honoree is selected by a committee of alumni, faculty, and staff, from nominations made by the MassArt community and friends of the college.