Class of 2015 Celebrates at Commencement

BAC Class of 2015

BAC Class of 2015; Photo by Allison Postlethwait

The Boston Architectural College celebrated its 2015 Commencement on Friday, May 22 at Old South Church in Copley Square. The College graduated 170 students in the disciplines of architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, and design studies.

In keeping with BAC tradition, a jazz band accompanied the graduates, special guests, and members of the Board of Trustees in a procession through the city of Boston's historic Back Bay. They walked in full regalia from the iconic BAC building on Newbury Street to the church building in Copley Square.

"The Boston Architectural College is a very special institution of higher learning. It proves on a daily basis that the people who are the most deserving of merit are those who have a passionate desire to achieve their dreams, who work very hard and who hold lofty values and ideals," said Acting President Julia Halevy. "Design school is very difficult, and those before us, those who are about to receive their degrees, are a rare breed of women and men who have proved they are able to complete these complex studies while working."

Angela Wyrembelski, Master of Architecture, was awarded Valedictorian of the Master's Program and Johnson Osband, Bachelor of Architecture, was awarded Valedictorian of the Bachelor's Program. Both of the valedictorians reflected on the unique and impactful education they and their fellow graduates received at the BAC.

"That's the beauty of the BAC program-with a strong component of the curriculum based in practice, it forced us to split ourselves between the professional world and the world of academia," Angela said. "But we managed-managed our time and our ideas. It is these skills that we bring forward and that will make us better designers."

In Johnson's speech, he wished his classmates bright futures filled with passion. "I'd like to express an intense gratitude for the education that every student here has received at the BAC," Johnson said. "I hope that all of us make space to continue to cultivate lives we care about. May we always be rediscovering ourselves and passionately reshaping the world we inhabit."

Gianfranco Zaccai, B.Arch '78, President and Chief Design Officer of Continuum LLC and Overseer of the College, delivered the Commencement address. He charged graduates to focus on making a true impact on the lives around them above wealth and fame. "You have received a lot of tools, insights, and skills that will help you practice your craft. Now is the time to hone your humility, to develop ever-greater empathy, a sensibility and a concern for others who are not necessarily like you," said Gianfranco. "The ultimate objective of all design is to improve our experience of the world and each other."

Gianfranco; Arthur J. Hurley III, BAC Trustee and President of Arthur J. Hurley Company Inc.; and Jeanne Pinado, Chief Executive Officer of Madison Park Development Corporation, were each awarded an Honorary Doctor of Design Leadership.

The BAC congratulates all graduates and wishes the Class of 2015 the best of luck in their future careers! 

Gianfranco Zaccai is President and Chief Design Officer of Continuum LLC, an international multidisciplinary design consultancy, which he founded in 1983 as the first fully integrated design and development firm in the world. Under his leadership, the firm's work has since been acclaimed by many national and international organizations. Gianfranco is known for championing a holistic and highly integrated approach to innovation research, design, and development, which is reflected in the fact that he holds degrees both in industrial design from Syracuse University and a bachelor of architecture from the BAC. Committed to lifelong learning and teaching, Gianfranco has served as a faculty member and lecturer at various institutions across the globe, including the BAC, had his work published in leading professional journals and books, and been an active member in various design organizations including the Industrial Designers Society of America, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, and the Design Management Institute. Prior to founding Continuum, Gianfranco was director of corporate design for Instrumentation Laboratory SpA in Milan, Italy and Instrumentation Laboratory Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts, a leading manufacturer of medical and diagnostic instrumentation.

Arthur J. Hurley, III, is President of Arthur J. Hurley Company, Inc and a Trustee of the Boston Architectural College. The Arthur J. Hurley Company, established in 1929 by his grandfather Arthur J. Hurley, Sr., is a family owned and operated distributor of electrical wire and cable. The company serves a broad base of customers and their products are used in airports, train and mass transit systems, convention and stadium facilities, tunnels and bridges, office buildings and the electric power grids of New England. Arthur joined the family business in 1974 and has helped carry on the success of the company by adhering to the exemplary operating principles set by his father and grandfather. Arthur has been instrumental in expanding the business through increasing the company's workforce, widening the selection of products, moving the head office and warehouse, and building greater infrastructure. Arthur has been an active supporter and contributor to the Italian Home for Children, the Roxbury Boys and Girls Club, and the Boston Architectural College.

Jeanne Pinado is the Chief Executive Officer of Madison Park Development Corporation (Madison Park), a non-profit community development corporation in Roxbury, MA. Established in 1966, Madison Park developed and owns over a thousand units of multi-family housing, with over 100 affordable homeownership units, winning the 2003 Fannie Mae Foundation Maxwell Award of Excellence. Prior to joining Madison Park, Jeanne served as Senior Equity Investment Officer at the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation. Jeanne holds a degree in economics from the University of Virginia and an MBA in finance from Columbia University. She is active within her community, serving as treasurer of Massachusetts Association of CDC's, a member of the Executive Committee of Citizens' Housing and Planning Association, as well as serving on the boards of multiple local foundations and non-profits. In 2003, Jeanne received the African-American Achievement Award for Community Service from The City of Boston and in 2005, received Suzanne King Public Service Award from New England Women In Real Estate. In 2006, she received a fellowship from the Barr Foundation and has traveled as a Barr Fellow to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mexico and Haiti.