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Architecture Alum Finally Walked in Commencement, More than 40 Years after Starting His Studies

Rick Moore studied architecture at UC from 1970-76 in what was then a six-year program. At the end of his senior year, his fatherís unexpected death prevented Moore from successfully completing his capstone, degree completion and Commencement. Last year, he finally obtained that degree and participated in Commencement.

Date: 4/7/2014
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Provided
As the University of Cincinnati prepares for spring Commencement in order to recognize the hard work and success of this yearís class, architecture alumnus Rick Moore, 61, can still relate to how special the day and ceremony are, even though itís been a year since he  marched in UCís spring Commencement of 2013.
The Moore family at UC during Commencement 2013.
From left, Karen, Jason, Rick, Brian and Eric Moore on UC's campus during Commencement celebrations in April 2013.

Moore, a Cleveland, Ohio, native now practicing architecture and head of his own firm in Scottsdale, Ariz., studied at UC from 1970-76 in what was then a six-year program to earn a bachelorís degree.

However, in the final weeks of his senior-year spring quarter, his father unexpectedly died.

Moore recalls, ďI headed home for the funeral, and I was gone from school for about 10 days. I got back to school the week my capstone project was due. I got the project done after a fashion, but it wasnít what I wanted, and the standards in UCís architecture program are the highest level. So, the project was failed, and I wasnít able to graduate with a degree.Ē

In retrospect, he states that he should have just have just told his instructors what had happened and asked for an extension, but it simply didnít occur to him at the time Ė in part because he was emotionally exhausted and still in shock from recent events.

Moore was still able to pursue an architecture career since professional registration at the time didnít actually require a degree. He went on to build a successful practice after moving to the southwest; however, he admits, ďIt always bothered me that I didnít have a degree. My wife had two masterís degrees. My sons either had degrees or were pursuing them. They were pretty good at teasing me that I was bringing down the family IQ score.Ē

So, Moore went online and investigated UCís now four-year bachelorís degree in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). What he found: ďIíd done most of the stuff for a bachelorís degree.Ē

So, he called UCís Admissions Office and ended up speaking to Amberly Maryo, senior assistant dean in DAAP.

Recalls Moore, ďIt had been almost 40 years since Iíd been on campus. Iím close to the end of my career. I wanted the degree for me and my dad. I made the call because I thought the worst that could happen is that they would say no.Ē

However, Moore was encouraged to apply for re-admission into the program, to send in his transcripts, a resume and a personal statement. The materials and his body of work were reviewed by faculty, and UCís Maryo was able to call him with good news: He would receive his degree in the April 2013 Commencement ceremonies.

Moore now laughs that when he joined the other UC architecture seniors in the Commencement line, he got a lot of puzzled looks: ďThe UC architecture program is just as tight knit now as it was back when I was a student. All of the seniors had spent years together in a challenging program. And hereís this old guy walking up with his grey beard joining them in line.Ē

But, he says there was no day like it for him: ďMy three sons came to Cincinnati. My wife was there with me. And when I walked across the stage to get my degree, I felt my dad was there with me too.Ē