Photographer Stephen Wilkes ’80 is keynote speaker for 2021 Newhouse Convocation Ceremony

Award-winning photographer Stephen Wilkes ’80 will deliver the keynote address at the Newhouse School’s 2021 Convocation Ceremony, to be held virtually Saturday, May 22, at 11 a.m. ET.

Stephen Wilkes
Stephen Wilkes ’80

Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, Wilkes (Instagram: @stephenwilkes) has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America’s most iconic photographers, widely recognized for his fine art, editorial and commercial work. He is an alumnus of the Newhouse School’s photography program.

Among his most notable works are a five-year photographic study of Ellis Island’s abandoned medical wards, his millennial portrait of the U.S., “America In Detail,” and his images capturing the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

Wilkes’ most defining project is “Day to Night,” a series of epic cityscapes and landscapes portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours, capturing fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of the camera lens. Wilkes then blends these images into a single photograph, which takes months to complete. In 2017, Wilkes was commissioned by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa to create a Day to Night photograph of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Wilkes shoots advertising campaigns for numerous leading agencies and corporations, and his editorial work has appeared in and on the covers of top publications. His photographs are included in the collections of museums across the country, as well as multiple private collections.

For up-to-date information about the Newhouse Convocation Ceremony and Syracuse University Commencement, visit