University officials and faculty joined together in praising the achievements of the Graduate School of Fine Arts at its centennial convocation in the Annenberg School Auditorium yesterday afternoon. During the hour-long ceremony, the school officially marked its 100 years with the University and issued four honorary degrees to prominent leaders in architectural and planning fields. Delivering the welcome address at the hour-long ceremony, President Sheldon Hackney detailed the evolution of the graduate school and called the 100 year mark a tremendous milestone in GSFA's history. He added that the school has "grown and evolved, built on a tradition in architectural education." "The school is honoring today the work of individuals which represent the best in their field, a goal to which the University aspires," Hackney said of the honorary degree recipients. To most audience members, however, the highlight of the convocation was the keynote address by former GSFA dean and honoree Sir Peter Shepheard. Although he focused on the school's past, his 10-minute speech was filled with humorous anecdotes and jokes. "I had only planned to talk a moment or two, so when I looked at the program, and it said convocation address, I was a bit scared," he jokingly told his audience. "Here is a group of schools that have within it a very good school of architecture. . . fine arts. . . and planning," Shepheard added. "There aren't many other places with these three things." Shepheard also thanked the administration for an honorary degree. Also honored at the ceremony were Balkrishna Doshi, a founding member and the first director of Ahmedabab School of Architecture and Planning, Joseph Esherick, a 1937 graduate of the Graduate School of Architecture, and Lawrence Halprin, an environmental designer and town planner. GSFA Dean Lee Copeland urged his audience to "develop an environment conducive to change." Copeland added that while "creativity cannot be taught. . . interaction nurtures creativity. . .and teaches students to challenge conventions." "We must train and educate students to dream," Copeland told the approximately 150 people in attendance. "More importantly graduates, students, and faculty of the Graduate School of Fine Arts must [have a] sense of wonder, idealism, and optimism," the dean added.Comments powered by Disqus
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