Commencement 2024

The photograph captures a group of graduates wearing blue caps and gowns. These graduation caps are adorned with various designs, texts, and symbols. The graduates face away from the camera, waiting for a commencement ceremony to begin.

On May 17, 2024, the School of Architecture and Planning graduated its 52nd class. Photos by Onion Studio

52nd Commencement Ceremony

On May 17, 2024, more than 190 graduates crossed the stage as the 52nd graduating class of the School of Architecture and Planning. Graduates and their families and friends, along with distinguished guests, joined together at UB's Center for the Arts.

View an accessible PDF of the commencement program for the UB School of Architecture & Planning Ceremony, including a listing of all graduates in the Class of 2024.


Photo Gallery

Photos by Onion Studio

Keynote address

Julia Czerniak, AIA Assoc., ASLA, RLA.

Julia Czerniak

Dean and SUNY Distinguished Professor

Julia Czerniak hosted her inaugural Commencement as Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, delivering this year's keynote address. Educated as both an architect (Princeton, Master of Architecture 1992) and a landscape architect (Penn State, Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture), Czerniak's extensive research and practice at the intersection of these disciplines offered an inspiring message for the graduating class.

Matthew Kinnally.

Matthew Kinnally (MA Arch '24)

Commencement student speaker

Matthew Kinnally, a member of the MA in Architecture Class of 2024, served as Student Speaker, reflecting on his experience at UB’s School of Architecture and Planning. In his address, he emphasized the importance of support, care, and creativity among classmates. He urged graduates to be the positive force in others' lives, emphasizing the impact of small gestures and the collective effort to make the world a better place.


Department of Architecture

Alpha Rho Chi Medal: Pouya Pakkhesal (BA Arch '24)

ARCC/King Student Medal for Excellence in Architectural and Environmental Research: Aqsa Rafi (MArch '24)

AIA Medal for Academic Excellence: Alec C. Harrigan (MArch '24) 

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

MUP Best Professional Project Award: Johnathan Bartol (MUP '24)

MUP Best Thesis Award: Bethany Greenaway (MUP '24)

MUP Best International Thesis Award: Viyona Mangessh Chavan (MUP '24)

MUP Best Dissertation Award: Chihuangji Herbert Wang (PhD '24)

AICP Planning Excellence Award: Colin Curry (MUP '24)

Dean's Medal Winners

This year, we were honored to present the Dean's Medal - the highest honor bestowed by the School - to Michael Van Valkenburg. Who has made significant contributions to the fields of architecture and planning.

Michael Van Valkenburgh.

Michael Van Valkenburgh

Michael Van Valkenburgh, founder and Creative Director of MVVA, is celebrated in landscape architecture. As a Professor Emeritus at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, he's received accolades for design leadership, including the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize. His firm's global projects, like revitalizing Buffalo's waterfront into the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, promise enhanced community engagement, wildlife habitat preservation, and flood mitigation, setting new standards for public space design.

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