Guests at the Alumni and FRIENDS Reception at Gotham Hall


Celebrating 15 Years of FRIENDS

October 30, 2023

Pictured: Guests at the 15th Annual Alumni and FRIENDS Reception at Gotham Hall in New York City.

On October 25, the School of Architecture and Design celebrated its 15th Annual Alumni and FRIENDS Reception, raising a record-breaking $401,300 in support of student scholarships, new initiatives, capital improvements, travel, and lectures. More than 360 alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends gathered at the historic Gotham Hall in New York City to honor alumni who have made significant impacts in architecture, design, and construction and celebrate the achievements of School of Architecture and Design faculty and students.

“At the School of Architecture and Design, we are excited to continue to embrace the FRIENDS’ philanthropic mission to promote an evolving partnership between the school and the architecture, construction, digital arts, and interior design professions,” said Dean Maria Perbellini, M.Arch., in her welcome address. “Alumni and FRIENDS support our students through collaborative initiatives, embedding technology advances, inspirational mentoring programs, offering internships, experiences beyond the classroom, career opportunities, and nurturing their connection to the industry. Each of our alumni, colleagues, and friends has an incredible impact on the success of our students. In this past but recent time of great adversity, their support of the School of Architecture and Design has been even more meaningful, as it helped to fund our students’ needs more than ever.”

The FRIENDS of the School of Architecture and Design executive committee, chaired by Tom Scerbo, AIA (B.Arch. ’98), recognized alumni with a combined 145 years of experience.


Pictured from left: Tom Scerbo, Christopher Savoglu, Maria Perbellini, Adele Rakower, Peter Romano, Ted Moudis, and President Hank Foley

President Hank Foley, Ph.D., thanked Perbellini and attendees for their generous contributions to students, inspiring everybody to join him in a New York Tech rallying cry before introducing Legacy Alumni Award honoree Peter J. Romano (B.Arch. ’78), president of Peter J Romano & Company and chair of New York Tech’s Board of Trustees.

“Many of you in this room tonight, I have worked with over the years, and without your support, your collaboration, your friendship, and your trust, we could not be successful in what we have achieved,” said Romano. “One thing New York Tech taught me was that you don’t need to be the smartest person in the room; you need to surround yourself with the smartest people in the room. I have been fortunate enough to do that and I am grateful for all of you being here. And thank you very, very much.”

Adele Rakower (B.Arch. ’11), principal at Adele Rakower Interiors, was presented with the Emerging Alumni Award. In her acceptance speech, Rakower highlighted the School of Architecture and Design’s ability to integrate the aesthetic and conceptual side of architecture with the technical and technological side. “This combination is something I’ve built my firm on, and it has enabled me and my team to provide a unique, all-encompassing service to our clients and take on and execute large-scale multifamily, commercial, and healthcare projects,” she said. “My message to students here tonight: Treat success like dinner when you haven’t eaten in days. If you’re starving for it and willing to do whatever it takes, undoubtedly success will follow.”

Ted Moudis, AIA (B.S. ’80), founder and principal of Ted Moudis Associates and a member of New York Tech’s Board of Trustees, and Christopher Savoglou, Assoc., AIA Assoc. (B.S. ’78), senior principal at Ted Moudis Associates, were presented with Distinguished Alumni Awards.

“The education that I received from New York Tech gave me the confidence to service the clients of the firm that I was working for, which in turn led to the starting of my own firm,” said Moudis.

“New York Tech helped me lay the groundwork to start my journey in the field of architecture and interior design. My education gave me the tools I needed to build a successful career and be the best business leader I could be for years to come,” said Savoglou.

Learn more about the FRIENDS of the School of Architecture and Design.

2023 Honorees

Distinguished Alumni Awards

  • Ted Moudis, AIA (B.S. ’80)
    Founder and Senior Principal, Ted Moudis Associates
    Member, New York Tech Board of Trustees
  • Christopher Savoglou, Assoc. AIA (B.S. ’78)
    Senior Principal, Ted Moudis Associates

Emerging Alumni Award

  • Adele Rakower (B.Arch. ’11)
    Principal, Adele Rakower Interiors

Legacy Award

  • Peter J. Romano (B.Arch. ’76)
    President, Peter J. Romano & Company
    Chair, New York Tech Board of Trustees