All News

The University of Dubuque to Celebrate 170th Commencement

By University Relations Staff

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque will celebrate the academic accomplishments of its undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students during its 170th commencement with two ceremonies Saturday, April 30, 2022, on campus.

The University of Dubuque Spring Commencement will be held at 1:00 p.m. April 30 in the Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center. Eighty-eight graduate students and 260 undergraduate students are eligible to participate in the ceremony.

Alan Garfield, MA, chair of the UD Department of Digital Art and Design, professor of digital art and design, and director of the Bisignano Art Gallery in Heritage Center, will deliver the commencement address, titled "The Certainty of Uncertainty."

When Garfield came to UD in 1999, he immediately established the campus' first program in computer graphics. It was called Computer Graphics and Interactive Media and received attention internationally. Three years ago, with his colleagues, the program became the Department of Digital Art and Design, reflecting the broadening nature of digital tech into the fine arts.

Garfield's formal education is eclectic. He received a bachelor of arts in history and English at the University of Iowa and a master of arts in art history with a specialty in Flemish 15th century painting from the University of Binghamton. Garfield worked for Salvador Dali in New York City and went to Wadham College, paid for by Ireland's Health Services Eire. He later worked on medical informatics in the EU for Ireland.

Garfield's interests include French Impressionism, images in contemporary politics, history of the avant-garde, Holocaust studies, modern refugee art, the Beat Generation, fractals in art and design, and interreligious dialogue. His paper, Hope and Hopelessness: Pandemic Paintings in Western Art Since the Baroque Period, will be presented at Oxford University in August 2022. His CV lists over 50 peer reviewed publications, editorial positions, and talks at various international conferences. In February 2023, Garfield will exhibit recent drawings from his fall 2021 sabbatical at the Bisignano Art Gallery.

Garfield and his spouse, Phyllis Garfield, former director of international student services and study abroad at UD, have opened their home in Ireland to over 500 students in the past 23 years.

Although Garfield will retire from his teaching post this academic year, he will continue to head the Bisignano Art Gallery and lead art and culture international experiences for UD alumni, faculty, staff, and students to Western Europe.

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary Commencement will be held at 9:30 a.m. April 30 in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center. Twenty-seven students will receive degrees and 10 students will earn certificates.

Rev. Gary S. Eller, PhD, recently retired president of the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation in Omaha, Nebraska, will deliver the commencement address, titled "Ministry in Turbulent Times."

Eller was born and raised in North Carolina. After completing his master of divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary, he earned a doctor of philosophy at Vanderbilt University. Eller has served congregations in Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, and Nebraska. From 2007 to 2022, he was president of the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation.

Eller remains an author, consultant, clergy coach, and theological educator at UDTS, Creighton University, and the University of Nebraska Omaha. He served on the UDTS Council of Advisors for 12 years.

For more commencement information, including how to watch the ceremonies via livestream, please visit