Susan Watkins Receives Honorary Degree

10363793_10152403505721113_7430866158806500853_nA.jpgHonorary degree recipient Susan Watkins was honored during the University of Minnesota College of Design commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

Watkins is a teacher, designer, researcher, and author, as well as a mentor to a generation of students in the field of functional apparel design. She attended Pennsylvania State University and earned her B.S. in 1965 in consumer services in business, a program geared toward fashion merchandising. She continued in graduate school studying textiles and clothing at the same institution and earned her M.S. in 1967.

As a college student Watkins, though interested in clothing design, was searching for meaning in the design process beyond the apparent frivolity of fashion design. No programs existed at this time to satisfy these needs, and Watkins spent her years as a university professor establishing this field of study at Cornell University and in influencing its adoption across the country. She was a Professor of Textiles and Clothing at Cornell University from 1967‐1998.

As the most significant researcher and educator in the field, she remains a leading inspiration to many generations of designers, scholars, engineers, and teachers.

More Stories from the College of Design: