Commencement 2023

Graduates in the Architecture program walked down the aisle during the start of the ceremony that took place on May 19, 2023 in the CFA Mainstage Theater Photographer: Dylan Buyskes.

On May 19, 2023, the School of Architecture and Planning graduated its 51st class. Photos by Onion Studio

51st Commencement

On May 19, 2023, more than 180 graduates crossed the stage as the 51st 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 as UB held its first fully in-person commencement season since the start of the pandemic.

Commencement ceremomy, in full
Commencement program

View an accessible PDF of the program, including a listing of all graduates.

On This Page

Highlights from our program

Among the ceremony's distinguished guests were University President Satish K. Tripathi who served as degree conferrer, Dean Robert G. Shibley, who presided as master of ceremonies and presented the keynote address, members of UB and SUNY leadership, partners in the professions, faculty of the School of Architecture and Planning, and members of the School's Dean's Council. Dale White and Gail V. Wells were presented with the Dean's Medals, the highest honor bestowed by the School. 

President Satish K. Tripathi called upon the Class or 2023 to carry UB's mission of excellence, impact and service into the world by embracing the perspective of "lifelong learners."

"With UB's mission in your heart, you will have a vision to see our shared humanity even in polarizing times. You will elevate the public discourse with resasoned, fact-based contributions and with respect for opposing viewpoints. In times of challenge and strife, you will not respond with reflexive panic or blame. Instead, you will work calmly, taking greater risks toward sustainable solutions. With our mission as your guide, you will make your way through the world with your eyes trained not on the bottom line but on the greater good."

Photo Gallery

Photos by Onion Studio

Keynote address

Dean Robert G. Shibley, FAIA, FAICP.

"My hope for you this commencement is that you find joy and challenge in the work and places you choose to live. I hope you find paths that let you make beautiful places, facilitate just communities, and build relationships consistent with the aims of practice we have collectively constructed during your time with us. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be your Dean and to work with an extraordinary group of faculty, staff, students, and senior UB leadership."

Robert G. Shibley

Dean and SUNY Distinguished Professor

Robert G. Shibley hosted his 13th Commencement as Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, delivering his final address to graduates as he prepares to step down from his leadership post. Calling upon the School's founding mission more than 50 years ago, Shibley reminded graduates of the deep tradition of innovation behind their work, and the reach of its impact. "Collectively, we have established the conditions for hope in the world through acts of design innovation, policy research, planning, and building."

It was just over a year ago when a horrific act of racist hate in Buffalo - the mass shooting at Tops Supermarket on Buffalo's East Side that took the lives of 10  people - reminded us how far we have to go as a society, as a city, and as a profession. The imperative - and call to action to our graduates - is to bring our whole selves to action on behalf of justice in our city and our world. "Architecture, urban planning and real estate development are, and must become even more, relevant in the face of our challenges." 

Shibley, a leading scholar in the fields of architecture and urban planning widely recognized for his work on the theory and practice of placemaking, urged the Class of 2023 to root their ideas and ambitions in the aspirations of the people and places we serve as professionals in the built environment. "Plan-making and construction are critical and deserve every care, craft, and design skill we offer. Still, they should never be allowed to eclipse the human and ecological relationships that are their raison d'être – their reason for being – establishing the relevance of our professions." 

Sabri Hafiz Uddin.

Sabri Hafiz Uddin (BS Arch '23)

Commencement student speaker

Sabri Hafiz Uddin, a member of the BS in Architecture Class of 2023, served Student Speaker, reflecting on his experience at UB’s School of Architecture and Planning and how it has prepared him to take on the grand challenges facing the built environment today. Uddin, a Canadian American and child of Bangladeshi immigrants, highlighted the program's celebration of diversity in design and its vibrant studio culture, where he built relationships with faculty and students that will last a lifetime.


Department of Architecture

Alpha Rho Chi Medal: Stephanie Lynn Tomasulo (BA Arch '23)

ARCC/King Student Medal for Excellence in Architectural and Environmental Research: Keith David Benes (MArch '23)

AIA Medal for Academic Excellence: Joselyne E. Morocho (MArch '23) 

Department of Urban and Regional Planning

MUP Best Professional Project Award: Nolan Walter Kukla (MUP '23)

AICP Planning Excellence Award: Alessandra Rose Santarosa (MUP '23)

Dean's Medal Winners

This year, we were honored to present the Dean's Medal - the highest honor bestowed by the School - to two distinguished UB alumni who have dedicated their life and careers to the advancement of equity and social justice through community development and urban planning.

Dale White.

Dale White (BAED '05)

Dale White, a 2005 graduate of our BA in Environmental Design program, is a real estate developer focused on equitable, green community development. He currently serves as principal for acquisitions and development at Bastogne Development Partners, driving social impact investment through community-based development and affordable housing.

Gail Wells.

Gail Wells (MS '02, BA '94)

Gail Wells, who holds a master's degree in urban planning and a bachelor's degree in public policy and urban planning from UB, is a social activist, historian, urban planner, gardener, entrepreneur and educator. Founder of Buffalo Freedom Gardens, she is part of a coalition of food justice advocates working across Buffalo to build resilience in communities of need.

  • Congratulations, Class of 2023!
    On Friday, May 19, 2023, a distinguished group of 227 future architects, urban planners, environmental designers and real estate developers will join the ranks of UB alumni as the School of Architecture and Planning convenes its 51st Commencement ceremony in UB’s Center for the Arts.

Questions? Contact us!
(716) 829-5905