DCP Alumni and Friends Reconnect in Nation’s Capital for Alumni Social

John Thomann

Friday, June 14, 2024
By: Kyle Niblett

More than 40 University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning graduates and friends of the program attended an alumni social this past Wednesday in the nation’s capital. The event was hosted by 1987 School of Architecture graduate John Thomann and his Washington D.C. Gensler office.

“There are a lot of Gators here in the D.C. area,” said Justin Ried (BDES ’97, MBC ’99), a double Gator who is currently senior vice president for pre-development, design and construction at Host Hotels and Resorts. “As someone who lives here in this market and works across the country, I take great pride in the fact UF is a nationally recognized school. I run into DCP alumni in California, the Midwest, New York City and here all the time. When you meet a DCP graduate, you understand the hard work and level of intelligence it takes to get through that school.”

The night consisted of networking, food and drinks and plenty of laughter, highlighted by a state of the college address by Dean Chimay Anumba. The dean updated the crowd on the status of the Bruno E. and Maritza F. Ramos Collaboratory, gave details on the upcoming 100-year anniversary of the college and the planned activities and spoke about the increase in AI in the curriculum. The event was capped off by a question-and-answer session where alumni were able to ask Anumba questions in an informal environment.

“Tonight was all about connection,” said Chao Sun, a former M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management student who is currently an area superintendent in D.C. for Hensel Phelps. “I feel like I haven’t been back to Gainesville in forever and I really miss that. I am really glad to be here and connect with everyone.”

Overall, the social featured many reunions of sorts, with everyone reminiscing on their time in Gainesville.

“Some of my closest relationships I have to this day are honestly from friends I met in studio at DCP,” said Christopher Nelson (MLA ’99), an associate landscape designer at RHI. “Even if we were separated by disciplines, we shared the same trials and tribulations. We share that common thread and ban together. That carries over for when you’re in a firm and working toward a similar goal.”

The college returns to the road on Saturday, July 27, for a “Chomp at the Trop” alumni event at the Tampa Bay Rays baseball game in St. Petersburg versus the Cincinnati Reds. To register for free tickets to the event, click here.

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