Skip to main content

NewSchool Celebrates it’s 32nd Annual Commencement at San Diego Symphony Hall

Go Back

Published on:

July 14, 2017


NewSchool Celebrates it’s 32nd Annual Commencement at San Diego Symphony Hall

San Diego CA, July 13, 2017 – NewSchool of Architecture & Design (NewSchool) hosted its 32nd annual commencement ceremony at the Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego, Calif. The class of 2017 celebrated approximately 130 students who completed or will complete their degree requirements from its Architecture, Game Art, Game Development, Product Design, Interior Architecture and Design, and Construction Management.

“I am grateful, humbled, and fortunate to be celebrating this great achievement alongside all of my fellow graduates,” said Fernando Sanchez-Montes, of Seattle, Wash., who was the Graduate Student Speaker and a recipient of a Master of Architecture. Sanchez-Montes spoke movingly about how his fellow students helped him persevere and succeed. “To be honest, there came a time when I did not know if I would arrive at this point and be graduating with you on this day. I thank you all because it was your kindness, your generosity and love that truly made me feel welcomed.”

NewSchool also welcomed renowned architect Larry Scarpa as its commencement speaker. Scarpa, a principal with Brooks + Scarpa Architects, encouraged the graduates to believe in themselves. “I believe that sometimes you just have to trust your instincts,” Scarpa said. “This approach has never let me down. In life, you need to be a little uncomfortable with yourself. Doing so allows you to accept who you really are, dream big, and follow your destiny.”

During the ceremony, graduates and staff members were recognized with special awards.

Outstanding Student Award

This year’s recipients of the Outstanding Student for Construction Management are:

  • Jaman Testerman, of San Diego, Calif., Bachelor of Science, Construction Management
  • David Dent, of Long Beach, Calif., Master of Construction Management

This year’s recipients of the Outstanding Student Award for the Domus Academy School of Design are:

  • Scarlet Xu, of Los Angeles, Calif., Interior Architecture and Design
  • Marcelo Kertész, of San Paulo, Brazil, Product Design

Alpha Rho Chi Medal:

Since 1931, the Alpha Rho Chi Medal recognizes graduating architecture students for their leadership and service to their campus and for what they have to offer to the future of the profession with the Alpha Rho Chi Medal. This year’s recipient is Madison Parsons of Walnut Creek, Calif., Undergraduate Architecture.

Henry Adams Medal and Certificate

The American Institute of Architects awards the prestigious Henry Adams Medal to the top-ranking graduating student in each National Architectural Accrediting Board Architecture program. A Certificate of Merit is also awarded to the second-ranking graduating student recognizing their excellence in architecture. This year’s recipients of the Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit are:

  • Miranda Luce, of Orange County, Calif., Undergraduate, Architecture, Henry Adams Medal
  • Chadwick Cullen, of La Quinta, Calif., Graduate, Architecture, Henry Adams Medal
  • Julio Leiva-Campus, of San Jose, Calif., Undergraduate, Architecture, Henry Adams Certificate of Merit
  • Michael Kramer, of Oceanside, Calif., Graduate, Architecture, Henry Adams Certificate of Merit

Outstanding Design Award

Evolved from the “Designer of the Year” award, the Outstanding Design Award is one of NewSchool’s oldest student awards. The award is unique as it focuses on design and is looked at as innovative or very accomplished. Any work associated with the award is looked to be of the highest possible visual and material quality. This year’s recipients are:

  • Aipeng Fang, of Guangdong, China, Undergraduate, Architecture
  • Grace Tran, of Orange County, Calif., Graduate, Architecture

For more information on NewSchool of Architecture & Design, visit

NewSchool of Architecture & Design:

Located in San Diego’s design district, NewSchool of Architecture & Design prepares students for career success in design fields through an emphasis on interdisciplinary and global design skills, industry collaborations and real-world projects. Programs include architecture, construction management, product design, media design, design studies, and interior architecture and design. NewSchool is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission. NewSchool’s Bachelor and Master of Architecture programs are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). NewSchool is one of more than 70 institutions in 25 countries that comprise the Laureate International Universities network. Through collaborations with sister institutions in the Laureate network, including Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, NewSchool students are prepared to work in global and diverse organizations. For more information, visit