Nate Berkus and Elaine Griffin to be Keynote Speakers at the New York School of Interior Design 2019 Commencement Ceremony

New York, New York – April 16, 2019 – Nearly 100 New York School of Interior Design graduates will walk across the commencement stage and begin the next chapter of their lives on Thursday, May 23, at 11AM, as they receive their diplomas during the New York School of Interior Design’s 2019 Commencement exercises at 92nd Street Y.

Renowned interior designer and author, Nate Berkus and acclaimed interior designer Elaine Griffin will both deliver remarks to the graduates, and will be conferred with honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts in Interior Design degrees. Each year, nominees for the honorary doctoral degree are selected from a distinguished pool, and each have demonstrated values that are consistent with the goals of the College’s mission and higher education. Berkus and Griffin are outstanding examples of how far education, professionalism, and gumption can take the students who will become tomorrow’s designers.

“This year’s commencement speakers, who will also receive honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts in Interior Design degrees, demonstrate the immense heights and levels our graduates can achieve by using the skills they mastered in college combined with drive, focus, and determination,” said NYSID president David Sprouls. “We look forward to welcoming and honoring these individuals as they will inspire our graduates to achieve their own milestones and change the world of design socially, culturally, and economically.”

About Nate Berkus

Since designer Nate Berkus established his award-winning interior design firm at the age of 24, his approachable and elevated philosophy has transformed countless homes around the world through his design work, home collections, books, television shows and media appearances. Ever since Berkus’ first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, he has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers. His work has been featured in publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, VOGUE, InStyle, O Magazine and People. He is included on the ELLE DÉCOR “A-List” of the world’s top designers and was named to the AD100 list in 2018. His popular product lines include a bed and bath collection sold at Target, a fabric line at JoAnn Fabric & Craft Stores, and a roller shade collection for The Shade Store. He serves as Creative Advisor for Framebridge, a custom framing company, and is Travel Ambassador for Celebrity Cruises and their new class of ship, the “Celebrity Edge,” which launched in fall 2018. He has authored two New York Times bestselling books: Home Rules (2005) and The Things That Matter (2012), and in 2011 he served as Executive Producer of the Oscar winning film, The Help. Audiences followed Berkus through his own television shows, the daily-syndicated The Nate Berkus Show and 2014’s American Dream Builders (NBC). Nate + Jeremiah for Living Spaces, an upholstery collection with the California based retailer, launched in Fall 2018. Their show, Nate and Jeremiah By Design, premiered on TLC in 2017 and returned for a third season on April 13, 2019. To learn more about Nate Berkus, please visit www.nateberkus.

About Elaine Griffin

Elaine Griffin began her design career in the Manhattan office of architectural behemoth Peter Marino, following a nine-year career as a publicist in New York and Paris, and officially opened her eponymous firm in 1999.

A daughter of the Deep South, Elaine was born a trailblazer, and soared as one of the most-visible African-American designers in the country in broadcast and print media.  As the contributing editor, design, for Better Homes & Gardens, her makeovers were the magazine’s second-most popular feature (bested only by color stories), and served to inspire readers’ own rooms nationally.  She brought style, comfort and creativity to charitable organizations’ spaces through her eleven Good Works Makeovers for Oprah’s O at Home.

Elaine was the first African-American contributing editor at Elle Décor, was ranked as one of House Beautiful’s Top 100 American Designers, and in 2003, became the first room designer of color in the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse. Her 2006 solo Georgia showhouse for Southern Accents magazine – a career trophy for Southern designers – remains the only one produced by an African-American decorator.

Elaine inspired America regularly in design and entertaining segments on morning television nationally, including the Today show, and was a cast member and third-place winner of NBC’s 2014 primetime design competition reality show, American Dream Builders, hosted by Nate Berkus.

Her 2009 bestselling book, Design Rules: The Insider’s Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator, published by Gotham Books, remains a leading compendium of the rules, principles and proportions that define well-designed spaces and make them look great.  Design Rules has become a go-to reference book in America, China and Russia, establishing Elaine as the quotable home design eminence grise for every style, price point and demographic, and her insider’s tips and expertise continue to appear in print.

Elaine is a graduate of Yale University (B.A., Art History) and studied at the New York School of Interior Design.  In 2015, she returned to the Coastal Georgia of her childhood to spend time with her mother.

About New York School of Interior Design

New York School of Interior Design is a private, nonprofit college focused exclusively on interior design. The college offers certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs for students at all stages of their careers—whether they’re just becoming familiar with the discipline, considering a career change, or looking to deepen knowledge in a particular area. Consistently ranked one of the top interior design programs in the United States, students study both residential and commercial interior design, some with specialties in sustainable design, lighting, and healthcare interiors. NYSID students enjoy a small class size and sharp focus, a great deal of personal attention from dedicated faculty, and they go on to practice at the highest levels of the profession. To learn more, visit

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