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Margaret Russell, the editor in chief of Architectural Digest, will address the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) graduating class of 2014 Saturday, May 31, at commencement ceremonies in Savannah and Atlanta. Russell will also receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
Russell will speak to graduates at SCAD’s 34th Savannah commencement ceremony, 9 a.m., at the Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave. She will then address graduates at SCAD Atlanta’s 8th commencement ceremony, 6 p.m., at the Georgia World Congress Center, 285 Andrew Young International Blvd. N.W.
"In SCAD’s milestone 35th year, we’re delighted to welcome the incomparable Margaret Russell as our 2014 commencement speaker,” said Paula Wallace, SCAD president and co-founder. “Margaret is the ultimate arbiter of design, and a role model to students throughout the SCAD community.”
Russell is the editor in chief of Architectural Digest and archdigest.com, a position she has held since August 2010. Russell spearheaded a highly regarded redesign of the magazine, the relaunch of the website, and the launch of AD’s tablet editions.
Prior to joining Architectural Digest, Russell served as VP/editor in chief of Elle Decor, a publication that she helped found in 1989. During her tenure, Russell also created elledecor.com and produced the best-selling Elle Decor book series.
Russell is committed to promoting art, design, and culture through charitable work, both in the New York area and nationally. She is a trustee of God’s Love We Deliver and the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, having previously served on the boards of DIFFA and the Alpha Workshops. She has been instrumental in raising millions of dollars to support HIV/AIDS preventive-education and direct-care programs.
Russell is a presidential appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and she’s also a member of the Advisory Council of the Philip Johnson Glass House, a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She lectures frequently on architecture and interior design and has been featured on numerous television shows, including Bravo’s Top Design. She is the author of several books, among them So Chic and Style and Substance.
In 2008, Wallace honored Russell, along with Pierre Cardin and Jonathan Adler, at the Etoile Awards.
The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution conferring bachelor's and master's degrees at distinctive locations and online to prepare talented students for professional careers. SCAD offers degrees in more than 40 majors.