The Boston Architectural College celebrated its 2014 Commencement on Friday, May 23 at Old South Church in Copley Square. During the 125th year of the college, one hundred and eighty-eight students graduated in the disciplines of Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Design Studies.
In keeping with BAC tradition, a jazz band accompanied graduates, special guests, and members of the Board of Trustees and Overseers 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.
"Our graduates are encountering rapidly changing environments where their work will make interiors more healthful, buildings more sustainable, and landscapes more accessible," said President Ted Landsmark. "They will use new technologies, entrepreneurship, traditional design skills, and a commitment to public service to reshape and improve the worlds within which we live, work, and play."
Corey Beaulieu, Bachelor of Design Studies, was awarded Valedictorian of the Bachelor's Program, and Lauren Elizabeth Schneider, Master of Interior Design, was awarded Valedictorian of the Master's Program. Corey and Lauren were honored along with their fellow distinguished classmates at the Honors and Awards Ceremony hosted at the BAC on the evening of Thursday, May 22.
"Architecture can be a spatial work that performs sustainably. Architecture can hold a spiritual aspiration," said Karen Nelson, Head of the School of Architecture. "Our graduates distinguish themselves not just because of their strong foundation in design, but also because of their worldliness and their humanity."
Felice Silverman FIIDA, President of the International Interior Design Association and 2014 Masters of Interior Design Graduate from the BAC, gave the Commencement address. 2014 Honorary Degree Recipients were Malcolm Austin Rogers, Antonia M. Pollak, and Polly Flansburgh. Malcolm Rogers was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, Antonia M. Pollak was awarded a Doctor of Landscape Architecture in Urban Design, and Polly Flansburgh was awarded a Doctor of Community Engagement.
"For 125 years, the BAC has been doing much more than educating architects and designers - it has been the core of the design community, and the cutting edge of design education across the country. As a leader in the concept of practice based interdisciplinary design, the BAC is the model of the future of our profession." Felice remarked. "Everywhere that I go, the BAC name is strong among educators and professionals alike. The design community knows that BAC students are of the highest caliber."
Felice Silverman FIIDA is the President of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and the President and a Principal at Silverman Trykowski Associates, Inc., in Boston. She has been practicing interior design for the past twenty five years, with a focus on the design of spaces for education, children, healthcare, fitness and commercial office interiors. Felice is NCIDQ certified, and was the 2006-2007 President of the IIDA New England Chapter. She serves as an Overseer for the Boston Architectural College, and is a member of the Massachusetts Interior Design Coalition Advisory Council. She served on the Board of Trustees of the BAC from 2012-2013, and was the Chair of the BAC's Interior Design Advisory Board and Student Development Committee. Felice is the current President of the Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC). She has been an educator and guest critic at the BAC, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Mt. Ida College and the New England School of Art and Design / Suffolk, and has served on numerous competition juries nationally. Felice has recently been named to the IIDA College for Fellows, and is the recipient of a 2014 Design New England Mentors in Design (Middies) Award. Felice received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Harvard University in 1985, and a degree in Interior Design from the Boston Architectural College in 1992.
Malcolm Rogers is the Anne and Graham Gund Director at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Approaching his 20th year at the Museum in September, Malcolm is the longest serving director in MFA history. During his tenure, Malcolm has created a legacy of "opening doors' to the Boston community and global audiences. He has transformed the MFA through expanding the Museum's encyclopedic collection with nearly 68,000 acquisitions, presenting over 375 innovative exhibitions, enhancing arts education programs, enlarging the MFA's campus and renovating and expanding the Museum's historic building. Malcolm is a Great Benefactor at the MFA, Boston, a Trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and a member of the Board of Overseers of the Boston Lyric Opera. Malcolm previously served as Deputy Director and Deputy Keeper at the National Portrait Gallery in London. He is an authority on 16th-, 17th-, and early 18th- century portraits and has written extensively on Van Dyck's English period, on photography and on London and its museums. Malcolm was educated at Oxford University where he received both Bachelor of Arts (1st class honors) in English Language and Literature and a D. Phil.
Antonia M. (Toni) Pollak was the longest serving Commissioner of Parks and Recreation for the City of Boston from 2002 to 2014. During her tenure, Toni worked to maintain, improve, and provide public programming to over 2,200 acres of open space in Boston, including: 286 parks, squares, playground, courts, and planting areas; 16 historic burying grounds and 3 active cemeteries; a greenhouse complex, and 36,000 street trees. Prior to her service in the Parks Department, Toni served as Commissioner of Environment for the City of Boston, as a member of the Menino Project staff, and as executive director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. Her leadership and policy experience, in addition to her work in developing collaborative partnerships with area nonprofits and other city and state agencies, led to many capital project achievements for Boston's parks and open space, including: the opening of the East Boston Greenway; the transformation of Spectacle Island from a landfill to a visitor's destination; the restoration of Brewer Plaza on the Boston Common; and Muddy River Flood Risk Management and Environmental Restoration partnership between the City of Boston, the Town of Brookline, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Toni currently serves as an Overseer at the Boston Architectural College as well as a Trustee at The Boston Harbor Association, Preservation MASS and Gardens for Charlestown. She is a graduate of Boston University and attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Program.
As the founder of Boston By Foot, Boston's premier architectural walking tour organization, Polly Flansburgh has made a significant and lasting contribution to the cultural life of Boston. After earning her Bachelors of the Arts degree from Cornell University, Polly traveled to Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship. She later earned her Masters Degree in English Literature from Northeastern University. Inspired by the spirit of America's bicentennial in 1976, and her husband, architect Earl Flansburgh, Polly created Boston By Foot, a nonprofit organization that would celebrate and connect the the general public with Boston's rich architectural heritage. For nearly four decades, Boston By Foot's volunteer walking tour guides have led local residents and visitors from around the world through Boston's rich urban landscape. Polly is an honorary member of the Boston Society of Architects and the American Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Chapter of the Victorian Society of America.