Congratulations to the Class of 2021! You’ve joined the ranks of the graduated Hokies, and on your way to starting your next chapter. Whether you’re continuing your education or entering the workforce we all the School wish you the best of luck! ​

Here are some thoughts from the faculty:

Aaron Betsky, Director

"Congratulations on your graduation into what some call "the real world." We hope that you have found your years here --or, in the case of the last year, here in spirit-- have helped you not only develop the skills and knowledge you will need to contribute your designs to the communities we serve, but have also guided you as you have come to understand what a community is, how it works, and how essential it is to what makes us human. We hope and trust you will have fond memories not only of the School, but also of the friendships you formed here, the worlds of design that opened up to you, and the realization that better worlds are possible. We look forward to all the ways you will contribute to making the human-made environment more sustainable, equitable, and beautiful. Come see us again often, there will also be a place for you at the School of Architecture + Design."

Margarita McGrath, Undergraduate Architecture Chair 

​"​Graduation is my favorite day of the academic year: hearing the cheers, hoots, and cowbells, meeting your families, and seeing their pride in what each of you has achieved.

Although we won't be able to see the joy in your family's eyes (note to self, bring binoculars to commencement), I'd like to express our pride – our confidence and optimism about how we see each of you contributing to how the future unfolds. "Self-directed, self-motivated, curious, and generous," this is how your faculty describe graduates from our program.  Wow!

We look forward to watching your progress as you enter the field, so please stay in touch with us here in Blacksburg (we are rooting for you).  

Be bold.​"​

Lisa Tucker, Interior Design Chair 

​"​Congratulations to all the graduates! You should be proud of all your hard work and great results!​"​

Martha Sullivan, Industrial Design Chair

"Congratulations to the industrial design graduates of 2021. You have spent the last four years learning new skills, practicing your passion, and developing the creativity that will sustain you for a career and lifetime in design. You are talented, you are intelligent, and you are ready to take on the world as a designer. The entire faculty wishes you the very best, be well and work smart. You have the future in front of you for the making."

Terry Clements, Landscape Architecture Chair

"Congratulations to all Architecture + Design 2020/21 graduates. Your academic pursuits are coming to an end and new paths are open to explore. It’s been an amazing adventure to have participated in your explorations. I wish you each great joy and success as you embark on your newest venture. You grew so much as you studied, struggled, and triumphed. I can only imagine the paths that you’ll take, the new challenges and opportunities you’ll see, and the triumphs that you’ll reach.  Best wishes to all!  Go HOKIES!"


The Class of 2021 also wanted to share some advice:

"Talk to people! Make friends! Keep snacks in studio for those (frequent) late nights. And have fun! Take advantage of the other things our School has to offer - take screen-printing or ceramics or watercolor, use the wood and metal shops, get involved however you can.​" 

-​Emma Edmondson, Architecture

“You’re going to have long nights working in studio but as long as it’s what you love to do it’s all worth it in the end.” 

-Grace Evans, Interior Design

“Don’t stress too much, it’ll all work out in the end.” 

-Cat Piper, Architecture 

“To any incoming or underclassmen, I would say to trust your ideas. Oftentimes I would get discouraged seeing other students’ work and comparing it to mine. However, I learned to put faith in myself and saw my work and grades improve.” 

-Jake Grove, Architecture

“Clear tacky glue is the best kind!”

-Brittany Smith, Architecture

“Put yourself out there more often. Try to do as much as you can, even if you don't want to. I have many regrets due to being hesitant to experience new things that I wished I did. Join a group or club, get into new hobbies, try new ways of exploring your work. It's upsetting to know that I'm leaving behind so many untouched experiences, but I am very grateful for the experiences, friends, and memories that I did get.” 

-John White, Architecture

“Make friends with people who will make things with you - professors, shop staff, students, everyone” 

-Emma Gallagher, Architecture 

“5 years in architecture can feel like a long time, but really it's not enough. Through the ups and downs, this School has given me irreplaceable memories. Remember that strangers turn into your family and professors turn into best friends here. “Remember to take a moment every so often and think about everything that you've gained in your time here.” 

-Pamela Sun, Architecture