The School of Architecture honored 47 undergraduates and 15 graduate students during its commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16 on the front steps of Bond Hall.
The valedictorians were Alejandra Gutzeit of the undergraduate program and Pauline Smith of the graduate degree program. Excerpts from their remarks at the recognition ceremony are below.
Many members of the class of 2010, which includes graduates from 24 states, Puerto Rico, Nepal, and China, featured prominent national buildings on their traditional mortarboard designs, including the Empire State Building and the Washington Monument.
Pauline Smith: Graduate Valedictorian
"We find ourselves today at a point of transition, and of celebration. As architects, we know how to mark transitions with hierarchy, volume, light, and orders. In life, the repertoire of gestures and words is less canonical. Transitions can be ascents, descents, or crossings. Each of these depends on the passage having a proper ending: the axis has a terminus, the possesso ends at the pilgrimage church. Whether we think of life as a pilgrimage, a posesso route, or a parti, we see motion having a purpose. In an architecture degree, the purpose is trifold: we seek beauty, wisdom and community.”
Alejandra Gutzeit: Undergraduate Valedictorian
“Now is the time for guts and grace. We are very fortunate to have received many graces during our time here. So where do the guts come from? Our guts come from within. Our guts are our passions, that which moves us to act in the world around us. With so many gifts and knowledge comes great responsibility, and we should expect nothing less from ourselves. Architects in particular have great responsibility. We practice what is in effect a public service; we hold the interests of a community at heart, we create and rebuild the built environment, we design in harmony with the natural environment and put into practice the values of sustainable design, and to put it most simply, we put roofs over people’s heads. The weight of our responsibility, however, comes with the understanding that we are not selfish creators; we are charged with getting to know the true heart of a place and the community that breathes within it, and to contribute sensitively to the architecture of their identity."