Academy of Art University, established in 1929 by Richard S. Stephens, and wife Mrs. Clara Stephens in San Francisco, California has been a 2018 winner of three Rookie Awards, including Top 5 Worldwide 3D Motion Graphic School, Creative Media & Entertainment School, as well as #1 in America for Best Digital Illustration School. However, the awards stretch beyond the arts sector and well into their athletic department. In the article, Academy of Art University Sees the Synergy Between Art and Athletics, Dan Sheets covers information about the ART U Urban Knights, the university’s athletic department and the benefits of combining arts with athletics, the first arts university in America to do so; in his article written April 6, 2019.
The athletic program, encompassing sixteen different men and women’s teams was created in 2007 and by 2012 became a member of the Division II National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). During their first postseason eligibility, the department won two NCAA National Championships in Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field. Since, the Urban Knights have made forty post-season appearances, and have many award-winning team members.
Mobolade Ajomale, an Urban Knights Men’s Track and Field member, has six NCAA Division II National Titles. Ajomale, a Bronze winner in the 2016 Summer Olympics, plans to return in 2020 to secure the Gold. Two members of the Men’s Golf team, Lawrence Liang and Jose Lopez Butron, won multiple honors at the Addy Awards for their ad “Never Walk Away,” focusing on women athletic empowerment. And Chanel Stuart, a two-time winner of PacWood Freshman of the Week. Sheets states, such awards came from strong ambition and nurtured skills that both artistic and athletic students share.
Sheets added, the students’ success not only comes from natural talent but also from the ability to accept criticism from many people and in various forms. He mentions that the balancing of long practice hours toward each prospective craft against other important life events develops imperative time management. Sheets further states, mutually art and athletic students find it easy to talk about their passion, but they also learn the knack of listening, enabling strong communication. Sheets remarks a primary key, vital to many-sided quests, such as artistic and athletic professions with demanding time limitations and supplies needed in each pursuit require a methodical approach to the scholars’ skillful organization.
With the awards and accomplishments of the students and university combined, the Academy of Art University rings true to their Accreditation and Mission Statements:
“Academy of Art University prepares aspiring professionals in the fields of design, communication and the arts by developing excellent undergraduate and graduate degree and certification and portfolio development programs.”