Saturday, May 17, 2014

This May, more than 100 CAPLA students were awarded degrees in architecture, planning, and landscape architecture, and graduate certificates in heritage conservation. CAPLA was also proud to award the University’s first bachelor’s degrees in sustainable built environments. Graduates and their families and friends were hosted to a pre-convocation reception at the College, giving everyone time to mingle and celebrate before heading to Centennial Hall for the ceremony.

Convocation featured alumni representatives of three professional organizations, including Dino Sakellar ’76 (American Institute of Architects), Irene Ogata ’86, ‘09 (American Society of Landscape Architects), and Arlan Colton ’79 (American Planning Association). Four students also spoke, each representing their respective professions: Elondra Ome Eichenberger (Sustainable Built Environments), Amelia Elliott (Architecture), Christian Sobecki (Landscape Architecture), and Samual Sanford (Planning).

Barbara White Bryson, FAIA, vice president of strategic planning and analysis at the University of Arizona, delivered the key note speech and aptly summarized the graduates’ achievements: “What you have accomplished is that you have learned to be creative, collaborative, complex-problem solvers – perhaps the most effective force on the planet... I can tell you from personal experience that if you continue this journey that you started here at CAPLA, and if you remain collaborative, there is almost nothing that you cannot do. All kinds of doors are now open to you. You are not constrained by your education. You are empowered by it.”

The night also included special guest and speaker U.S. Congressman Ron Barber, who acknowledged the vital role that CAPLA plays in the community, state, and nationally. He also recognized Brian Kolfage, a member of the graduating Bachelor of Architecture class, and presented his diploma. Prior to coming to CAPLA as a student, Brian served in Iraq in the U.S. Air Force, where he was critically wounded and lost his legs and right arm. Since returning to Tucson, Brian has worked with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Congressman Barber on veteran’s issues, including serving on Barber’s Veteran’s Advisory Council.

Congratulations to all of our Spring 2014 graduates!
If you have pictures from graduation you'd like to share with us, send them to Mariana Vazquez-Maloney at