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10.16.19 – Class of 1987 reunites to celebrate the opening of the Daniels Building's graduate lounge

The Daniels Faculty's 1987 graduating class in architecture (who attended what was then known as the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Architecture) had one of the strangest undergraduate experiences in the history of the University of Toronto. In 1986, just as they were settling into the fourth year of their BArch program, a number of long-simmering ideological disputes between architecture faculty members were boiling over.

In frustration, most third- and fourth-year architecture students boycotted that year's option studios, hoping to prod the university administration into making positive change in the architecture program. Instead, on January 23, 1986, U of T president George Connell announced that he and provost Joan Foley would be recommending that the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Architecture be eliminated altogether, effective in 1990. (Their decision, although undoubtedly related to the turmoil at the faculty, was triggered by a need to conserve resources in an era of scarce government funding for higher education.)

After a year of protest — following a memorable march to Queen's Park, students designed and sold "save the school" buttons and published their own activist broadsheets — U of T abandoned the shutdown plan. The Faculty of Architecture was restructured and saved. The successful fight bonded the class of 1987 so strongly that they still, more than three decades later, gather for an annual holiday meal. Many of them remain close friends.

This year, the class of 1987 proved that they can still act together when it matters. Members of the class collectively raised over $120,000 to put the finishing touches on the graduate student lounge at the Daniels Faculty's new home, the Daniels Building at One Spadina Crescent. As a result of the extraordinary generosity of this special group of alumni, the lounge will now be known as the Architecture Class of 1987 Student Lounge.

On October 4, a group of alumni, as well as a few invited friends, gathered at One Spadina to celebrate the successful fundraising appeal, and the remarkable transformation of their alma mater. Here are a few photos from the night.

Alan Vihant (BArch 1987), with Associate Professor Pina Petricone and the next generation of the Giannone-Petricone family:

 

Dean Richard Sommer and Dino Dutra (BArch 1987):

 

Ralph Giannone (BArch 1987), Steph Ginsberg (BArch 1987), Lisa Bate (BArch 1987), and Birgit Siber (BArch 1987):

 

Marc Van Ginkel (BArch 1988), Alan Vihant (BArch 1987), and Tye Farrow (BArch 1987), who currently serves as president of the University of Toronto Alumni Association:

 

Sandor Rott (BArch 1987), Sam Saif (BArch 1987), and classmate Peter Tillman:

 

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace (BArch 1987):

 

Ralph Giannone (BArch 1987), Marc Van Ginkel (BArch 1988), and Heather Taylor (BArch 1987):

Photographs by John Hryniuk, www.johnhryniuk.com.