About the Award and Artist

David MacDonaldThe Chancellor’s Citation commemorative plate is designed and made by David MacDonald, an internationally renowned artist and professor emeritus of ceramics in Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Inspired by a piece of Yoruba pottery, the design of the commemorative plate features an Egyptian pyramidal motif with a series of six triangles of increasing size and height. “The plate has a certain dynamic,” says MacDonald. “I like to work with abstract geometric patterns. The upward thrust of the triangles has a certain energy and power. It symbolizes the upward mobility of our people.”

MacDonald joined the SU faculty in 1971. He earned a bachelor’s degree in art education with honors from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Virginia, where he studied with the noted African American ceramics teacher Joseph Gillard. He received a master of fine arts degree from the University of Michigan.

His work is in the permanent collections of the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Montclair Art Museum in New Jersey, and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. He is also co-founder of the Community Folk Art Center.