The University of Oklahoma Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture celebrated its graduating seniors in a virtual convocation ceremony on Friday, May 8, 2020, at 7:00 pm. Read on for links to the ceremony video, convocation program, and highlights from the event.

The college’s 2020 outstanding seniors from the architecture, interior design, construction science, and environmental design divisions shared a few words with their fellow graduates. Gibbs College dean Hans E. Butzer and architecture alumnus Rachel White (Class of 2008) also shared words of encouragement during the ceremony.

Convocation Program (Download PDF)

Click here or click play, above, to view the online convocation ceremony.

Words of Encouragement from Gibbs College’s 2020 Outstanding Seniors

Casady Ball, an interior design graduate, highlights some special memories and lessons from her time at GCA. In thanks to the support and dedication of her professors, Casady wanted to remind her fellow graduates that she is also so proud of them! Throughout the years, she’s learned that collaboration and teaching others is the greater form of learning. Though you may be going through tough times with the COVID-19 pandemic, your accomplishments are still special, and nothing will take that away from you. In this time of uncertainty, Casady wants you to know that she is 100% certain that each and every one of you has what it takes to be successful in life.

Ben DeCuyper, a recent architecture graduate, speaks about his experience at GCA as a whole. He regrets the thought that he might never see some of you again, but he hopes everyone is doing well through these tough times. He attributes his college experience to the people he was surrounded by.

“When you’re trying to embark on some kind of creative endeavor, you’re ultimately acting off of the people around you; you’re trying to make decisions, and it is very much influenced by the decisions others are making.”

Ben DeCuyper

Ben notes that without this special group of classmates and professors, his work had been different. He’s so thankful for each and every one of you, and he is going to miss you!

Drew Coker is this year’s outstanding senior in Construction Science. He takes a moment to look back on his fun, memorable, formidable and challenging last four years. In these trying times, Drew urges you not to let anything diminish the magnitude of what it means to graduate from the University of Oklahoma. Remember how important it is that everyone chose to preserve through diligence and commitment in your studies, so you could pursue rewarding and successful careers, and he has no doubt you all will continue to show that hard-working mentality as you transition into college and all your careers.

Lastly, Matthew Tillinghast shares a few words with the Environmental Design class of 2020. One of the most important things Matthew has learned was to enjoy the process. He urges anyone who feels like they are falling behind due to the pandemic to remember that everything will be alright in the end.

“My friends, we’re all in this together. Now more than ever, we muct act unified and go out into the world with a common purpose: to use hte knowledge we gained here to improve the basis and people around us.”

Matthew Tillinghast

Remember that you have the power to bring people together and improve the communities around you. Matthew is greatly thankful for his family, friends, girlfriend, mentors, experiences, friendships, and opportunities that GCA has provided. He encourages everyone to keep moving forward and enjoy the journey, not the destination.

Click here to hear more from this year’s outstanding seniors.