2017 Awards for Distinction recipients with the Chancellor and Sam Fox School leaders. Photo by Whitney Curtis.

The strongest testimony to the value of our education is the success of our alumni. From founding HOK—one of the largest architectural firms in the world—to exhibiting work at major museums and galleries throughout the world, to teaching at top colleges and universities, our graduates are making a tremendous impact in a diverse range of fields.

Our recent Awards for Distinction recipients exemplify this level of excellence and breadth of expertise.

- Artist, architect, businessman, designer, and philanthropist—Ralph J. Nagel (BS67/MArch69) brings a sense of curiosity and grit, along with a talent for marshaling resources and knowledge, to a wide variety of challenges and opportunities.

- Fascinated by the rich history and talismanic power of a good headpiece, Jennifer Behr (BFA96) launched her namesake collection of distinctive, heirloom-quality hair accessories in 2005—a line that has grown to include a bridal collection and couture-level knit hats. Her attention to detail and dedication to quality have made her collection a favorite of stylists and celebrities including Amy Adams, Lady Gaga, the Kardashian sisters, Jennifer Lawrence, Madonna, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Oprah Winfey.

- As director of DP Architects—the Singapore-based, 1,200-person practice with 15 offices worldwide—Vikas Gore (MArch/MUD84) subscribes to the view that quality detailing and excellence in execution are fundamental to the realization of good design. Overseeing projects from inception to completion, he has experience in a wide range of project types, including religious, institutional, and infrastructure developments, as well as in retail, office, residential, and hospitality sectors.

- Carol Macht (BA73) is a landscape architect and founder/principal of the multidisciplinary design firm Hord Coplan Macht, which focuses on educational, healthcare, and multi-family/mixed-use residential projects. Macht’s work concentrates on these areas, as well as public open spaces and residential gardens.

- Known for richly layered paintings that incorporate a wide range of media, imagery, styles, and techniques, artist Michael Williams (BFA01) explores the nature of, the boundaries between, and the tensions within the painted surface. In the last few years, he has evolved from making large gestural oil paintings to similarly scaled paintings printed with a billboard-size inkjet printer.

- The question of who deserves our attention—and what attentions are valued and facilitated by our culture—is at the center of Ben Durham's ongoing inquiry into memory, portraiture, and crime. Unarchiving narrative through the physical act of drawing, Durham (BFA04) makes portraits that are not a simplification or reduction of identity, but instead create expansive and nuanced counter-histories populated by those marked to be forgotten.

- Dan Weissman (BA05) is a registered architect and award-winning lighting designer at Lam Partners in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as an educator, entrepreneur, musician, and artist. He created Lam Labs, the firm’s nascent research and development wing, and serves as its director. In addition, he manages design projects as an associate at the firm.