Industry leader Trisha Wilson to speak at New York School of Interior Design 2015 Commencement Ceremony

Jamie Drake, John Rouse, and Trisha Wilson to Receive Honorary Doctorate Degrees

New York, NY – April 15, 2015 – New York School of Interior Design (NYSID) is pleased to announce that Trisha Wilson, industry leader and chairman and CEO of Wilson-RED, will be the keynote speaker at the College’s 2015 commencement ceremony, which will take place on Wednesday, May 20, 3pm, at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. NYSID is proud to graduate 150 candidates this year: 38 Master of Fine Arts, 21 Master of Professional Studies, 63 Bachelor of Fine Arts, and 28 Associate in Applied Science candidates.

Wilson will receive the College’s Honorary Doctorate degree as will Jamie Drake, interior designer and president of Drake Design Associates, and John Rouse, publisher of Contract  magazine. Jamie Drake and John Rouse will also give brief remarks.

“We are very excited to have Trisha Wilson serve as our commencement speaker this year,” said NYSID president David Sprouls. “She is known for her talents as a leader, creative strategist, and visionary in the international services arena. She has a keen eye for architectural details and design, a tireless work ethic, as well as a generous philanthropic spirit. She is an inspiration to us all and is a true powerhouse of hospitality design.”

Keynote Speaker and Honoree: Trisha Wilson

Trisha Wilson founded one of the top hospitality design firms in the world, Wilson Associates, over 40 years ago. The firm grew to include global offices in New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Shanghai, Kochi, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with over 400 professionals worldwide. After a very successful tenure as founder and CEO, she fully transitioned from Wilson Associates in 2014, concentrating on her new company, Wilson-RED, and on the international charitable work of The Wilson Foundation.

Wilson’s success began to form in the 1970’s, a time when few women worked as commercial interior designers, not to mention presidents of their own companies. Graduating from the University of Texas in Austin, Trisha struck out on her own and boldly approached restaurants for their business. Over the next four decades, she forged a name for herself and became an internationally sought-after designer. Wilson’s work has received numerous national and international awards. She is a member of the prestigious Interior Design Hall of Fame, a recipient of the coveted Hospitality Design Platinum Circle Award, the distinguished Legend Award from Contract magazine and selected as Hospitality Design’s Manfred Steinfeld Humanitarian Award recipient.

Wilson founded The Wilson Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, in 1997 to address the needs of the disadvantaged and underserved children in and around the town of Vaalwater in Limpopo Province, three hours north of Johannesburg, South Africa. Trisha strongly believes in education and through her Wilson Foundation she built Waterberg Academy, a private school for the underserved children in that community. Trisha approaches life with the motto “It CAN be done,” knowing no dream is too big to actualize; no problem is too big to solve. 

Honoree: Jamie Drake

Jamie Drake, founder and principal of Drake Design Associates, has long used his exuberant color sense and taste for glamour to create residential and commercial interiors. Among the most notable are a Los Angeles showplace for Madonna, residences in the Dakota and other historic New York landmarks, multiple projects for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and a ground-up medical facility in Florida. Member of the Interior Design Hall of Fame and Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year in 2003, Drake was also inducted into the ASID College of Fellows in 2011, and was honored 2013's Star of Interior Design by Fashion Group International.

Drake has masterminded many timeless collections for companies such as Roubini, Safavieh, Lewis Mittman, Schumacher, Elkay, THG, Labrazel, and Boyd Lighting. More recently, Drake has collaborated with Theodore Alexander on his second furniture collection with the highly respected company, as well as an exquisite rug collection for Stark Carpet. In addition to the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Show House, he has created rooms for numerous show houses, including Metropolitan Home’s Showtime Show House; Hampton’s Cottage & Gardens Idea House; Esquire’s Show House in Coldwater Canyon, Hollywood; House Beautiful’s Chicago Showhouse; the Southampton Rogers Memorial Library Show House; and the Hearst Designer Visions Show House.

Widely published, Drake’s projects have appeared in Architectural Digest, French Architectural Digest, Residence Magazine (China), Elle Décor, House Beautiful, as well as The New York Times, British House & Garden, Hotel Design, Hospitality Design, Veranda, and Interior Design. Known for his quick wit, Drake has appeared on Bloomberg TV, LXTV Open House, HGTV Top Ten, and has served as a judge for the Sub-Zero National Kitchen Design Competition since 1998. Ever involved in good causes, Drake also sits on several prestigious boards including the New York Community Trust, the Historic House Trust Directors’ Council, the Board of Governors for his Alma Mater, Parsons the New School of Design, and The Alpha Workshops, where he currently serves as the chair. 

Honoree: John Rouse

A design publishing veteran of nearly 30 years, John Rouse has total responsibility for all platforms of Contract magazine the only publication in the industry dedicated exclusively to commercial design continuously for more 50 years, celebrating that milestone in 2010. Rouse began with Interiors Magazine, becoming publisher in 1994. After a series of mergers, he joined Contract as publisher in 2001, and then went on to launch Contract China in 2006.

In 2011, Rouse was honored as one of the inaugural Public Interest Design 100 along with editor in chief John Czarnecki and notables such as President Bill Clinton, Brad Pitt, David Kelley, MASS Design Group, Jeanne Gang, and Yves Behar among others. In 2014, Rouse received the International Interior Design Association’s (IIDA) Inaugural Legacy Award.

In addition to the monthly magazine, Contract is the producer of the industry's two most prestigious design awards: The Interiors Awards, featuring the “Designer of the Year" held each January at Cipriani, New York City and The Best of NeoCon presented annually in Chicago. Contract also hosts Design Forum, an annual event that provides an ongoing dialogue between leading industry professionals, real estate management and corporate design professionals and the manufacturing community.

This is a private event. For press seats, contact shoover@nysid.edu or call 212-452-4192.