MIT Architecture end-of-year celebration and awards ceremony

MIT Architecture end-of-year celebration and awards ceremony:

Join 2019-20 degree candidates, their families and friends, and our community of faculty, students, and staff for a special event to honor our graduates and celebrate the end of the year. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020, 1:00 pm (EST)
Attend on Zoom (registration required): 


Andrew Scott, Interim Department Head

Undergraduate Program
Skylar Tibbits, Director of Undergraduate Programs

  • William Emerson Prize
  • Henry Wentworth Gardner (1894) Prize

Building Technology Group (BT)
Christoph Reinhart, BT Group Director

  • Tucker-Voss Award

History, Theory, Criticism Group (HTC)
Kristel Smentek, HTC Group Director

  • Kristen Ellen Finnegan Fund Award

Master of Architecture Program (M.Arch)
Ana Miljacki, M.Arch Program Director

  • Sydney B. Karofsky ’37 Prize
  • Marjorie Pierce/Dean William Emerson Fellowship
  • Rosemary D. Grimshaw Award
  • Alpha Rho Chi Medal
  • Faculty Recognition for Design Excellence
  • Faculty Recognition for Academic Excellence
  • The Course 4 Thesis Recognition
  • Arthur Rotch Prize
  • Imre Halasz Thesis Prize
  • AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit

Master of Science in Architecture Program (SMArchS)
Timothy Hyde, Director of SMArchS Program

  • SMArchS Thesis Prize
  • Arthur Rotch Special Prize

Greetings from Architecture Student Council (ASC)
Jonathon Brearley and Ginevra D'Agostino, ASC Co-chairs

Congratulations from the Dean
Hashim Sarkis, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning

Nicholas de Monchaux, incoming Head (as of June 1)


Explore thesis topics and abstracts from this year's graduates


Description of End-of-year Architecture Prizes and Awards

William Emerson Prize—Given to an architecture senior for academic excellence. Emerson was an American architect and the first dean of the MIT School of Architecture from 1932-1939. He was instrumental in establishing a city planning department at MIT.

Harry Wentworth Gardner (1894) Prize—Given to an architecture senior for academic excellence and achievement in design. Gardner was a Professor of Architecture from 1903-1943.

Tucker Voss Award—This award was established in memory of Professors Ross F. Tucker and Walter C. Voss, the first two heads of the Department of Building Construction (Course 17), which merged with the Departments of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering in the 1950s. Each year the Tucker-Voss Award is given to a student on the basis on academic standing, leadership and promise in the field of building construction.

Kristen Ellen Finnegan Fund Award—To a female third-year doctoral student (who is a citizen of the United States or Canada) in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture group. This fund was created with contributions from family and friends of Kristen Ellen Finnegan, who was enrolled in the doctoral program in History, Theory and Criticism when she unexpectedly passed away in 1995.

Sydney B. Karofsky ’37 Prize—Established by Sydney B. Karofsky (Class of 1937), the prize is awarded to the outstanding MArch student with one further year of study who has demonstrated the highest excellence in architectural studies for use in travel, acquiring a library or otherwise as they may deem most useful in furthering the study of architecture.  

Marjorie Pierce/Dean William Emerson Fellowship Award—Established by Marjorie Pierce (1922) in memory of Professor William Emerson, first dean of the School of Architecture from 1932-1939, the full-tuition fellowship is awarded to a MArch Level II woman for outstanding academic and design achievement. 

Rosemary D. Grimshaw Award- Established by students, alumni/ae, friends and colleagues of Rosemary Danehy Grimshaw (MArch 1978), this award is given to the MArch student whose thesis proposal best exemplifies the spirit and character of this remarkable teacher who taught and served as thesis advisor until 1994. Specifically, the proposal must draw upon disciplines other than architecture; the thesis as a body of work must have its own intrinsic merit; it must have real world relevance and application; and it must be useful. The award is intended to help fund the costs of producing a thesis. 

Alpha Rho Chi Medal—Given to a graduating M.Arch student for service, leadership and promise of professional merit. Since 1931, the Bronze Alpha Rho Chi Medal has recognized graduating architecture students for their leadership and service and what they offer the future of the profession. Alpha Rho Chi believes strong leaders are just as essential as strong designers. The award was established to recognize qualities not necessarily pertaining to studio and scholarship.

Arthur Rotch Prize—The prize is given to a graduating M.Arch student for achievement in architectural design. Arthur Rotch attended MIT in 1872-1873, and he was an architect who practiced primarily in Boston area. 

Imre Halasz Thesis Prize—Established by alumni/ae in honor of their teacher, Professor Imre Halasz, to recognize academic excellence as represented in the MArch thesis in which design addresses the expanding responsibility of architecture.  The work reflects the spirit of MIT's traditional creative energy as a research university, moving beyond the isolated, specialized objects to explore ways of thinking about and designing communities of buildings for rapidly developing environments.

America Institute of Architects Henry Adams Medal and Certificate of Merit—Given to the top ranking graduating M.Arch student. For more than a century, the AIA has provided a medal of excellence to the top graduating graduating students in the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) or Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) accredited degrees. The award is named in honor of Henry Adams (1838-1918), a historian, author, and scholar who donated his book, Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres, and eventually the royalties from his book, to the AIA.

Master of Science in Architecture Studies Prize for Thesis—In recognition for the best SMArchS theses (up to three prizes)

Arthur Rotch Special Prize—Given to a graduating Master of Science in Architecture Studies student with the highest academic achievement. Arthur Rotch attended MIT in 1872-1873, and he was an architect who practiced primarily in the Boston area.