Family Ties Helps SCAD Graduates As Gwinnett Area Students Major in School, Salvationian | New
Although Pete Pelfrey and Mishi Lee pursued decidedly different disciplines during their years on the Atlanta campus of Savannah College of Art and Design, the two students have some interesting connections, including their outstanding academic achievements.
Pelfrey, of Auburn, was named SCAD’s Class Major of 2021, while Lee, who grew up in Lawrenceville and graduated from Peachtree Ridge High School in 2017, was named a Salvatorian. SCAD’s graduation ceremony took place on Friday and featured Emmy-winning actor, writer and comedian Dan Levy (of “Schitt’s Creek”) giving the virtual launch speech.
Beyond lofty accomplishments, perhaps the most notable bond between Pelfrey and Lee was about the support they received from their families while studying at SCAD.
Pelfrey, who earned degrees in graphic design and photography, said his wife Jessica and children Truan and daughter Kalla were instrumental in helping him achieve his goals.
“My family has been great from the start,” said Pelfrey, 39, graduated from Jackson County High School in 2000 and spent seven years in military intelligence before enrolling in SCAD. “My wife is a pre-K teacher from Georgia in Gwinnett County and she helped me with project ideas and she’s my muse behind the scenes giving me that extra boost I need to have a life. idea in my head and run with it.
“And my kids can see me keep going to school like this… it shows them that education never stops and you always learn.”
Lee, who has a degree in animation, said her brother Michael Lee had brought her into the arts by teaching her to draw at a young age. She added that her mother An Lee and father Sang Ho Lee have always nurtured her future dreams.
“They always pushed and encouraged me to put my academics first because my academics were the only thing that was purely mine,” said Lee, who is the first person in his family to graduate from a American university. “It was all up to me, so I took it very seriously from day one of kindergarten. In the end, graduating is a great feeling and I owe everything to my family.
Lee and Pelfrey both said they were excited about the graduation ceremony and were honored to receive laurels of honor.
“It’s such a great honor,” Lee said. “I feel like I made my family proud. I feel like I made my grandmother proud. She was the only girl of six children and the only child in her family to go to college in post-war Korea. And my aunt was the major of her class at her Korean university. So living up to this legacy is just a huge honor. “
“It feels good,” Pelfrey said. “It’s something I wasn’t really expecting, but I worked my best. In everything I do, I do my best and I do my best. It wasn’t much of a surprise in any way, but I wasn’t expecting it.
As Lee is about to begin the all-important job search for graduates (and plans to apply to the Disney training program), Pelfrey plans to expand his existing businesses – R2P Designs and Peter David Studios – that he was missing. from is home. .
“I’m going to build them but I didn’t focus too much on them because I wanted to put all my effort into the school and my family,” said Pelfrey, who began his graduate studies about 20 years ago. years. “Now that I’m done, I plan to put more effort into it. I did some cool projects, which I’ve always done, working with local businesses on small projects. I plan to continue doing this, staying local and working with local businesses. “
Lee and Pelfrey agreed that their SCAD experiences turned out to be far superior to what they had initially hoped for.
“There have definitely been a lot of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change anything I’ve been through,” said Lee, who as a senior served as president of the school’s LGBT + community club. . “I think my favorite memories are about all the late nights with my classmates and teammates and sleepless nights in the TV entertainment room. There was a great feeling of collaboration and connection between everyone. This is something that will be with me for sure as I remember SCAD and move on.
“SCAD is working hard to give you different tools and opportunities and there is knowledge that you can really work on and develop, and that’s great,” said Pelfrey. “With previous university experience, I know what some institutions are like – it’s very simple and they give you information and that’s it. There isn’t a lot of texture to it.
“But SCAD really pushes to go further. They offer opportunities that you wouldn’t expect from a school. They push you out of your comfort zone and they push you to go out and try new things and that’s the good thing – they don’t want to teach you just the basics. They want to make sure that you develop your full creative side and that you focus on more than just the content of a book. “