Graduating senior Shree Kale turns uncertainty into opportunity

May 13, 2020

Shree Kale

"It is in the moment of uncertainty that we as a class of 2020 have proven to be our strongest...I want us to think back to some moments of uncertainty that have made the class of 2020 extremely unlucky - and so much better. These moments were filled with anger, fear, sadness, and anxiety. But we always persisted."

Rice University's online commencement ceremony on May 16th opened with the moving words of art history and architecture major Shree Kale '20, whose speech "Uncertainty" was shifted into a video essay that provided glimpses of students as they faced unlucky moments of hurricanes, downpours, & a pandemic during their undergraduate years. But as Shree notes, it is precisely through these unlucky and uncertain moments that people united.

Though Shree was initially admitted into the Rice School of Architecture, he added art history as his second major and never looked back. In 2018, he received the department's competitive Lovett Travel Fellowship and journeyed to Italy and Turkey to conduct research on how political dynamics alter the way architecture is manifested. His focus on political changes and historical legacies led him to study the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires in the cities of Rome, Florence, and Istanbul with the fellowship.

Shree also participated in the annual department trip to New York City & joined the 2019 HART in the World trip to London. He was instrumental in planning, creating, & installing the HART in the World London Exhibition. Though Shree may have just graduated, he received one of the department's summer research fellowships under the mentorship of Dr. Farshid Emami and will assist with preparing 2D and 3D architectural drawings for publications on Islamic architecture in the coming months.

Like many of his peers, Shree persevered through all the uncertainties and risks over the years at Rice and proved that setbacks are only challenges & experiences in disguise. The department is proud to have encountered such an exceptional and driven student, & we know that Shree and the whole class of 2020 will lead our community to better days ahead with our heads held up high.
Rice University 2020 Online Commencement Ceremony can be viewed here.