By: Kyle Niblett

A stage instead of couches. Regalia instead of pajamas. Family and friends screaming instead of waving on Zoom.

Finally, for the first time since December 2019, the latest graduates of the University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning celebrated commencement in person.

The Spring 2021 Commencement ceremonies for DCP students took place this past Thursday and Friday inside the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on UF’s campus. A total of 344 Gators graduated from the OneDCP family and were recognized for their scholastic success and achievements.

“Built environment professionals have a tremendous opportunity to influence the quality of life in our society,” Dean Chimay Anumba told the graduates, families and friends. “As designers, construction managers, planners, sustainability professionals or specialists in historic preservation, you will be involved in making decisions that change our communities, state, and nation. This is a tremendous responsibility, and it is imperative that you use this unique position to positively address key societal challenges, including those that relate to: health and wellbeing, injustice, economic prosperity, poverty and resilience in the face of climate change.”

This year’s student award winners for DCP were Larissa Krinos and Ryan Lester, who both walked across the stage Friday night to a round of applause.

Krinos took home the DCP Undergraduate Leadership and Service Award after serving as a DCP Ambassador for the past three years, a research assistant for Professor Ruth Steiner and president of the Tau Beta Sigma music sorority for the UF Fightin’ Gator Marching Band. The Tampa, Fla., native earned a 3.93 GPA while fulfilling all the required sustainability and built environment coursework and topped it off by also completing 19 graduate-level courses for the combined degree program in urban and regional planning.

Lester was the recipient of the DCP Undergraduate Academic Achievement Award after graduating with a 4.0 GPA with a degree in sustainability and the built environment. Nominated for the award by DCP Lecturer Bahar Armaghani, the Windemere, Fla., native will now pursue a dual master’s degree in the historic preservation and communications programs.

“Today, you join the elite group of over 16,000 DCP alumni who are literally shaping the world we live in,” Anumba finished with. “We wish you continued success as you move into the workplace or further studies, knowing that your Gator spirit will sustain and propel you to even greater achievements that make this world a better place.”

The next event on DCP’s calendar is Thursday, May 6, when the university hosts its 2020 Make-Up Graduation ceremony at the Exactech Arena inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Following that, the Summer 2021 Commencement Ceremony will be held Aug. 6-7. For more information on both events, click here.

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