Commencement 2021

Graduates gathered under UB's Commencement Pavilion for the 49th Commencement of the School of Architecture and Planning.

Graduates gather on May 14, 2021, under UB's Commencement Pavilion for the 49th Commencement of the School of Architecture and Planning. Photos by Onion Studio

On May 14, a distinguished group of 264 architects, urban planners, environmental designers and real estate developers joined the ranks of UB alumni as the School of Architecture and Planning convened its 49 Commencement ceremony on UB’s North Campus.

Nearly 400 guests, including graduates and their families and friends, gathered for the momentous occasion in UB’s Commencement Pavilion, constructed specifically to host the university’s outdoor ceremonies amidst the ongoing pandemic. The in-person celebration was an exultant conclusion to one of the most disruptive and challenging years in the history of the School.

“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate together, in person, with our graduates and their families, after more than a year of separation,” Dean Robert Shibley said in his remarks to graduates, who were assembled spatially distanced in cap, gown and mask.

President Satish K. Tripathi, presided over the ceremony and conferred degrees for the School’s graduate and undergraduate programs, including the BS in Architecture, BA in Environmental Design, MS in Real Estate Development, Master of Urban Planning, and Master of Architecture. Graduates participated both in-person and virtually, with families and friends who were unable to attend also joining the ceremony's livestream. 

View our wrap-up coverage

Watch the ceremony

Highlights from our 49th Commencement

Words of inspiration

Henry Cisneros.

Henry Cisneros, former United States Secretary for Housing and Urban Development and a national leader in community-building, economic development and affordable housing, delivered the keynote address at the School of Architecture and Planning's 2021 commencement ceremony. Watch Secretary Cisneros's speech via the livestream link above, or read the text of his full speech (PDF)

Proud grads

graduates pose with pride at Baird Point.

See more of our graduates' pride-filled graduation photos via our Instagram channel. (View photos via our "Highlights" for Commencement 2021)

Dean's Medals

Dean Robert Shibley also presented the 2021 Dean’s Medal, the highest award bestowed by the School, to three professional leaders in recognition of their globally impactful scholarship and practice. Receiving posthumous awards were former faculty members Michael Brill from the Department of Architecture (1969-2002) and Ibrahim “Himi” Jammal of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (1969-2001). A third award was presented to Daniel Rockhill (MArch ’76), professor of architecture with the University of Kansas and director of its nationally award-winning design-build program, Studio 804. Read more via our wrap-up article

“We're going to need people like you working underserved neighborhoods, building schools and building clinics and building transit stations, revitalizing neighborhoods and bringing people together across ethnic and income lines. Indeed I would say you've chosen one of the few professions that is most likely to make this kind of difference.”

- Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Photos of Commencement 2021 ceremony, by Onion Studio