Sign In, Renew, Sign Up

Search AIA

Search AIA Go

About The AIAAbout The AIA

Page Tools

Reed Insight and Community


New Biographies of Former AIA Presidents

A Legacy of Leadership: The Presidents of the American Institute of Architects 1857–2007 chronicles the
rich legacy of the Institute’s first 83 presidents.

Read newly released updates to their biographies, below.

Ronald Arthur Altoon, FAIA

C. James Lawler, FAIA

John D. Anderson, FAIA

Robert M. Lawrence, FAIA

Raj Barr-Kumar, FAIA, RIBA

Susan A. Maxman, FAIA

Elmer Botsai, FAIA


Ted P. Pappas, FAIA

Robert Clare Broshar, FAIA

Thompson E. Penney, FAIA

John A. Busby Jr., FAIA

Katherine Lee Schwennsen, FAIA

Gordon H. Q. Chong, FAIA

Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA

Sylvester Damianos, FAIA

Michael J. Stanton, FAIA

Louis de Moll, FAIA

RK Stewart, FAIA

Donald J. Hackl, FAIA

R. Randall Vosbeck, FAIA

Eugene C. Hopkins, FAIA

Chester A. Widom, FAIA

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Ronald Arthur Altoon, FAIA

Los Angeles

Term of Office: December 1997–December 1998

Ronald A. Altoon was born in Los Angeles on October 1, 1945. He was raised in Los Angeles and attended John Marshall High School. One of Altoon’s childhood memories is appearing on Art Linkletter’s TV show, Kids Say the Darndest Things, where he confidently announced he intended to become a pharmacist like his father.

After graduating from high school, Altoon attended the University of Southern California and received a B.Arch degree in 1968. He chose architecture as a career, he said, because of “his skill in math, love of art, and an accident in counseling.” After graduating from USC, he enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania’s architecture program, where he studied and worked with Louis Kahn, FAIA, obtaining his M.Arch degree in 1969.

He returned to Los Angeles in 1969 and worked with several firms, both large and small, including Frank O. Gehry and Associates. Altoon met James Porter, AIA, while working at Gehry’s office, and the two realized they had compatible goals and complementary interests in architecture. In 1984 they established Altoon + Porter Architects.

In 1989, Altoon led the AIA/CCAIA Armenian Earthquake Urban Design Task Force, which gained international attention by proposing ways to rebuild the devastated city of Spitak, Armenia, which were ultimately implemented by the Politburo.

Altoon is married to the Alice E. Altoon, a former judge in the Los Angeles Superior Court. They have three children—Eric, Ryan, and Emily—and four grandchildren. The Altoons live in suburban Encino.

Altoon has a distinguished record of serving his community and the design and construction industry. This service includes:

  • Founding director and president, Friends of the Gamble House, Pasadena
  • Founding director, Friends of the Schindler House
  • Founder, Museum of Contemporary Art
  • President, USC Architectural Guild
  • Member, USC School of Architecture Dean’s Board of Councilors
  • Member, Board of Directors, Partners in Preservation
  • Member, USC Alumni Association Board of Governors
  • Board of Trustees, United Armenian Congregational Church
  • Member, Board of Directors, Armenian Assembly of America, Inc.
  • Member of various committees of the Urban Land Institute and frequent speaker at ULI conferences
  • Trustee, International Council of Shopping Centers (faculty member, University of Shopping Centers)
  • Chair, Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles District Council

Altoon’s hobbies and interests include travel, photography, collecting architecture books, contemporary art, opera, and classical music.


Altoon joined the AIA in 1974 and became active in the Los Angeles chapter. He served on its Board of Directors (1985–87), as secretary (1988–89), vice president (1990), and president (1991). He served on the AIA California Council for 11 years, representing AIA/LA as a delegate-at-large, chapter officer, and regional director. He was elected a California director to the Institute’s board for a three-year term (1992–94).

Altoon’s AIA service continued with his election as vice-president for 1997. At the 1996 convention in Minneapolis, Altoon was elected first vice president/president-elect. He was inaugurated as the Institute’s 74th president in December 1997 at the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

Altoon established the AIA’s Leadership Institute; was a member of the Vision 2000 Committee of 100, the 1994 Convention Committee, and the advisory group of the International Markets Professional Interest Area; and was chair of the AIA’s first universal accessibility conference.

Altoon designated the AIA’s theme for 1998 as “Bridges,” with the goal of building bridges from the architecture profession to educators, communities, and the world. He encouraged the discussion of architecture as a curriculum standard for elementary and high schools. He said, “Teaching K–12 students about the built environment is as central as English.” He encouraged architects to serve on community committees, school boards, and corporate boards, and to run for public office. He also recommended 100 hours of community service as a condition of graduation for architecture students. In addition, Altoon was interested in educating architects about the expanding opportunities for overseas work.

Altoon “bridged” divides between architects in the United States and architects abroad by signing accords with the Union of Architects of Russia, Royal Australian Institute of Architects, and Society of Architects of China, and negotiating an accord with the Japan Institute of Architects, which was signed the following year.

Altoon presented the Architecture Firm Award at Accent on Architecture to Centerbrook Architects and Planners. The 1998 convention in San Francisco was a “free of charge” event for members that attracted 19,000 participants, the highest attendance to that time. At the convention, Altoon presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to Norman L. Koonce, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Leon Bridges, FAIA; and the Topaz Medallion to Werner Seligmann. There was no Gold Medal recipient for 1998, but at the December 1998 AIA Board meeting, the final meeting at which Altoon presided, he successfully nominated Frank Gehry, FAIA, for the 1999 AIA Gold Medal.

Following his tenure as AIA president, Altoon was elected to a three-year term as a member of the UIA Council representing Region III (North, South, and Central America) at the 1999 UIA General Assembly in Beijing. He was reelected for another three-year term at the UIA General Assembly in Berlin in 2002. Altoon challenged the council’s undisciplined and often dysfunctional governance system, and was consequently appointed to three newly formed committees—Strategy & Vision, Evaluation, and Congress and Assembly Preparations—to seek structural changes to UIA’s meeting protocols and procedures. He ultimately authored the first drafts and led consensus building, editing, and final adoption of the Rules of the Council and the Rules of the Assembly by Council, which established UIA parliamentary procedure. He also negotiated passage of a UIA General Assembly resolution addressing design services for areas that had suffered from ethnic cleansing. In addition, he has served AIA on 10 National Architectural Accrediting Board accreditation teams, chairing five visits.


Before establishing his own firm, Altoon worked for various small and large firms, including those of two AIA Gold Medalists: Kahn and Gehry. James Porter, AIA, and Altoon established their firm, Altoon + Porter Architects, in 1984, and its reputation for innovative design grew quickly. The firm’s work included both institutional and commercial/retail projects in urban settings. In the early 1990s, the firm began doing an extensive amount of work overseas and has produced project master plans and design work for buildings in 43 countries. With Porter’s divestiture and retirement from the firm, it is known as Altoon Partners. Altoon is now training the firm’s fifth generation of partners. Significant constructed projects include the Sengkang and Buangkok subway stations, Singapore; Felipe de Neve Branch Library, Los Angeles; Fashion Show, Las Vegas; 4000 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, D.C.; Taman Anggrek Condominiums, Jakarta; Al Mamlaka at Kingdom Centre, Riyadh; Central World Plaza, Bangkok; Marina City, Qingdao, China; and the Arthur Ashe Center and Parking Structure #3, both at UCLA.

Altoon has also served architecture education as a lecturer on design, disaster assistance, leadership, and practice at schools of architecture in the United States and abroad. He has served as A.C. Martin Professor of Architectural Design at USC, an associate professor of architecture at the University of Hawaii, and a Rowlett lecturer at Texas A&M. In addition, he established Altoon + Porter University, an internal education program for the firm (an AIA/CES-accredited program).

Altoon has also written numerous articles and seven books related to the work of his practice, and retail and shopping center design.


Altoon has been recognized by many organizations for his service to AIA and the profession. These honors include:

  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Australian Institute of Architects
  • Honorary member, Japan Institute of Architects
  • Honorary member, Union of Russian Architects
  • Honor Medal, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana
  • Honor Medal, Society of Egyptian Architects
  • Memorial Medal, Republic of Armenia
  • USC School of Architecture Distinguished Alumnus Award
  • AIA/California Council Lifetime Achievement Award

As Altoon concluded his AIA presidency in December 1998, the Board of Directors honored him with a citation for exceptional service, which read, “Wherever he spoke, in this country and abroad, he challenged his audiences to reach beyond their comfort zones and take responsibility for building a better life for all peoples. Be a leader, he urged, in shaping the future of the profession and the communities in which we serve. Fostering a language of compassionate engagement, he built bridges to educators and students, the public and the nations of the world, and defined by his passion and inspired leadership the measure of what an architect can be.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

John D. Anderson, FAIA


Term of Office: December 2000–December 2001

John D. Anderson was born on December 24, 1926, in New Haven, Conn. His father was a biochemist and researcher in human nutrition at Yale. His mother, a social worker, was the first woman to receive a master’s degree from the New School of Social Work at Columbia. He grew up in New Haven; Tolland, Conn.; and Philadelphia.

Anderson was always interested in drawing and model making, and while living in Philadelphia for a year in 1937 he designed and carved its center city out of Ivory soap. But it was not until his family moved back to Connecticut and he graduated from Rockville High School, in 1944, that he became interested in pursuing architecture as a career. He had enlisted in the U.S. Naval Air Corps training program and, while there, took a course in descriptive geometry from an architect whom he came to know personally.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, he entered Harvard College and earned an A.B. degree in architectural sciences, cum laude, in 1949. He then continued at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD), where he studied with Walter Gropius, FAIA, and Hugh Stubbins, FAIA. He received his M.Arch degree from Harvard in 1952.

While attending Harvard, Anderson met Florence (Flodie) Van Dyke, who was studying at Wellesley, and they were married in 1950. They have two sons, Robert and David. Robert and his wife, Suzanne, are both geologists on the faculty of the University of Colorado. David and his wife, Nanon, are architects practicing together in a firm specializing in historic preservation. The Andersons have four grandchildren.

With about six months remaining at the GSD, Anderson asked Hugh Stubbins, his favorite professor, what criteria he should use to decide where to live and practice contemporary architecture. Stubbins had two suggestions: First, choose a city that had the obvious potential to grow and mature but had yet to take off; and, second, make sure it is pleasant year-round, a good place to bring up a family, and accepting of new ideas. That evening, John and Flodie took only 30 minutes with a map of the United States to decide on Denver, and upon graduation they left for the city, sight unseen, and have been completely satisfied with their decision ever since.

Anderson’s interests include skiing, mountain climbing, and world travel. Over the years, he and his wife have climbed all 54 of Colorado’s over-14,000-foot mountains.

Anderson has long been active in serving Denver. His community activities include:

  • Chair, Lower Downtown Historic District Design Review Board, 1991–2004
  • Board member, Denver Civic Ventures, Inc.
  • Board member, Lower Downtown Denver, Inc.
  • Trustee, Historic Denver, Inc.
  • Board member/treasurer, Clear Creek Land Conservancy
  • Advisory Board, Colorado University College of Architecture
  • Chair, Task Force on Colorado University Building Strategy


Anderson joined the AIA in 1961 and became active in the Colorado chapter. He served as its vice president in 1966 and president in 1967. After Colorado became a state organization with four chapters, Anderson served as president of AIA Colorado in 1971. During the U.S. energy crisis in the mid-1970s, Anderson realized the important role that architects could play in addressing energy in the built environment. He obtained an appointment to AIA’s Energy Committee and served on it from 1974 to 1983, becoming chair in 1982–83. In that capacity, he was the sole architect delegate to represent the United States at the World Energy Congress in New Delhi, India. He was then appointed to the jury for selection of AIA Fellows for 1983–85 and became its chair in 1985.

Anderson was elected to the AIA’s national Board of Directors and served from 1995 to 1997. He was elected vice president for 1999. At the 1999 convention in Dallas, Anderson was elected first vice president/president-elect for 2000. He was inaugurated as the Institute’s 77th president at the Organization of American States Building in Washington, D.C., in December 2000.

Within a week of his inauguration, AEC Direct, a spinoff corporation created in 1999 to manage many of the Institute’s service programs, shut down operations and closed permanently. As AEC Direct’s major shareholder, the AIA suddenly went from a position of $1.5 million in reserves to more than $5 million in debt. Anderson quickly guided the Institute through a period of fiscal planning and implementation that returned the AIA to financial health and stability within three years.

At the Accent on Architecture gala in February 2001, Anderson presented the AIA Gold Medal to Michael Graves, FAIA, and the Architecture Firm Award to Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture.

Anderson presided over the 2001 AIA convention, held in his home town of Denver. In his convention address, he spoke of the role of the AIA in architects’ lives: “Of course the AIA seldom lives up to our expectations. But then our ideals are so high: service, fellowship, the stewardship of architecture’s intellectual equity, advocacy, education, and so much more. Yet, if the AIA did not exist, we would have to invent it. It is our professional family to care for and fight over and renew and use to make our journey to the stars.” At the convention he presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to Charles Harper, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Cecil A. Alexander, FAIA; and the Topaz Medallion to Lee G. Copeland, FAIA.

Just as the plan for AIA’s financial recovery began to be implemented, the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon took place. Anderson led the AIA’s response programs, which took precedence over other planned activities through the remainder of 2001. However, the AIA kept its commitment to visit Japan and Korea, as originally planned, shortly after September 11. On this trip, Anderson signed an accord for the Institute with the Korean Institute of Architects to respect common values and professional ethics in each other’s countries, including the establishment of a system of continuing education patterned after the AIA’s program.

In 2007, Anderson was on the Executive Committee of the AIA150 campaign, serving as co-chair of the Former Presidents division.


Upon moving to Denver in 1952, Anderson first worked for architect John Monroe, then for the local firm of Wheeler and Lewis before establishing his own practice in 1960. He then co-founded Anderson Barker Rinker in 1965, which he oversaw for 10 years before splitting to form John D. Anderson Associates in 1975. In 1985, he formed a partnership with Ron Mason, FAIA, and Curt Dale, FAIA, known as Anderson Mason Dale.

Major projects the firm designed and constructed under Anderson’s direction include the master planning of the Solar Energy Research Institute (now the National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Golden, Colo.; Front Range Community College, Denver; Breckenridge (Colo.) Events Center; Jackson Hole (Wyo.) High School; University of Colorado Biomedical Research Facility, Boulder; Denver’s Ocean Journey Aquarium, and various facilities at Mesa Verde National Park.

As a strong proponent of sustainable design, Anderson has appeared in many states and in the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, and Finland as a lecturer and panelist on energy-conscious architecture. In 1986, he was appointed architecture advisor to Peking University in Beijing on the design and development of its new natural sciences and computer studies center.

Anderson Mason Dale has received more than 85 local, state, and regional design awards from the AIA and other organizations. The firm was honored as the Firm of the Year by the Western Mountain Region in 1986 and received the same award from AIA Colorado in 2000. In 1998, Anderson retired from day-to-day leadership of the firm.


Anderson’s service to the AIA and the profession has been recognized with numerous honors, including:

  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 1980
  • Silver Medal, Western Mountain Region, 1984
  • AIA Colorado Architect of the Year, 1987
  • AIA Denver James Sudler Award, 1995
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 2001
  • Medal of Honor, Federación de Colegios dé Arquitectos de la Republica Mexicana, 2001
  • Honorary fellow, Korean Institute of Architects, 2001
  • Honorary member, Japan Institute of Architects, 2001
  • AIA Denver Architect of the Year, 2002
  • Dana Crawford Award of Colorado Preservation, Inc. for Excellence in Historic Preservation (jointly with Flodie Anderson), 2004

Among the many honors Anderson has received, two are most deeply appreciated: In 2005 he was granted an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Colorado, largely for his work in leading a task force to create a viable and highly respected College of Architecture and Planning, combining two separate, badly coordinated, and often competing programs at the university.

The second honor, including a substantial stipend, was the 2006 Bonfils-Stanton Award in the Arts and Humanities category, an annual prize given in three fields by Colorado’s most highly regarded private foundation. His citation reads, in part: “John is widely acclaimed for his contributions in the field of sustainable design. He championed the principles of energy conservation and renewable energy and the use of recycled materials long before they became catchphrases.”

At the conclusion of Anderson’s term of office he was presented a citation, which read: “Called to move swiftly and decisively on a broad range of emerging issues that challenged the health and credibility of the Institute, he was served well by the rock-solid values of his New England heritage and the boundless optimism of his adopted western home....Eschewing legacies, his presidency will nonetheless be celebrated for years to come as a defining moment for the profession he loves and the measure for future generations of gifted and giving leadership.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Raj Barr-Kumar, FAIA, RIBA

Washington, D.C.

Term of Office: December 1996–December 1997

Raj Barr-Kumar was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on February 5, 1946, to Alexander Hamilton Anukkraganayagam Barr-Kumarakulasinghe and Francesca ThangaRanee Winslow. The family name of Kumara-kula-singhe (“Lion of the Royal Clan”) has a recorded royal lineage descending from King Kalinga of Lanka (1215–1236). “Barr” was added to the name when the family converted to Christianity in 1820. When Barr immigrated to the United States in 1974, he abbreviated the family name to “Kumar,” a decision he now regrets. He has two younger sisters and a brother.

Barr was educated at Royal Primary School and Royal College in Colombo, which was modeled on Eton and established by the British in 1835 to groom leaders for the country. At Royal, he was a prefect, editor of the magazine, and winner of the Steward Panel Prize for Shakespeare and English Literature. He attended the University of Ceylon, where he graduated in 1971 at the top of his class with Part I of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He earned his graduate degree in architecture and RIBA Part II at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University of London, first in his class in 1974. His scholastic achievement was rewarded with the Donald P. Ewart Scholarship to the University of Kansas, where he earned his M.Arch, summa cum laude, in 1975 and then taught for four years.

While they were both studying at the University of London, Barr met Athina Kambouri, a Greek shipping lawyer. Following her graduation she moved to Kansas, where they were married. Tragically, she died there in an automobile accident two years later. After relocating to Washington, D.C., in 1981, Barr met Bernadette Dipica Wikramanayake, a banker and economist, and they were married in 1994. They live in Potomac, Md., and have one son, Luke. Barr’s hobbies include travel, photography, theater, cricket, tennis, and sailing.

After his term as AIA President, Barr enrolled in the newly established program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned his architecture doctorate in sustainable design in 2003.

Barr has been active in a variety of community activities in the Washington Metropolitan area, including:

  • Founding chair, Anne Arundel County, Md., Development Design Awards, 1985–90
  • Chair, DC-HOME National Prototype Housing Task Force, 1990–92
  • Member, National Task Force on Emergency Response, Safeguarding Our Cultural Heritage, FEMA/NIC, 1995–97
  • Chair, Architectural Advisory, Luther Place Shelter for Battered Women and Children, 1990–96
  • President, Sri Lanka Association of Washington, 1991–93
  • Member, Preservation Committee and Building Committee, Washington National Cathedral, 1993–2003
  • Member, Advisory Council on Architecture, Northern Virginia Community Colleges, 1984–present
  • Speaker, Smithsonian Institution, National Building Museum and Corcoran Museum, 1982–present
  • President, Potomac Preserve, 2011–present; Board of Directors, 2003–present
  • Chair, Mid-Atlantic Region and Member, Board of Trustees, RIBA-USA Council, 2010–present


Barr joined the AIA in 1981, became active in the Washington, D.C., chapter, was elected president in 1990, and was the host chapter co-chair of the 1991 AIA national convention in Washington. He was elected to represent the Middle Atlantic Region on the AIA Board of Directors and served from 1991–93. While on the board, he was a member of the Professional Practice and Membership commissions, served as issue manager for board deliberations on expanding the business and practice of architecture, as commissioner to the Housing Committee, AIAS liaison, and a regent of the American Architectural Foundation.

He was elected a vice president of the Institute for 1994, and in 1995 was elected first vice president/president-elect for 1996. He was inaugurated as the 73rd AIA president at the Organization of American States Building in Washington, D.C., in December 1996. Upon becoming president he said, “Expanding knowledge and practice opportunities for all members, promoting AIA architects and architecture in the legislature and in the media, advocating design excellence and social responsibility—this is the essential role of the Institute. Architects who serve community aspirations and are responsive to the client’s expanding list of facilities needs enrich society and are positioned for practice and prosperity.”

Two important AIA committee conferences—“Re-definition of the Profession” and “Balance between Economic Growth and Environmental Need”—bookended Barr’s presidency. The multi-committee format proved effective. One of the outcomes of the “Re-definition” conference to promote architects’ entrepreneurial efforts and reclaim lost turf was the revision of several AIA contract documents released in 1997.

Barr conceived and promoted the pioneering concept of leaving something of value behind in an AIA Convention host city—“not just a lot of hot air and trash.” For the 1997 convention, AIA New Orleans identified the project—a shelter for the homeless. Under Barr’s leadership, the concept blossomed into a series of green pavilions on seven acres of land donated by the mayor and city council, and run by a coalition of service providers. Architects were seen as the catalyst for the project, and the mayor laid the foundation stone during the convention. The success of the enterprise inspired a convention resolution from the floor, passed unanimously, to continue this concept. As a result, an AIA Legacy Project (as the program is now called) has been undertaken at every national convention since 1997.

Barr conferred an AIA charter to the Hong Kong chapter in 1997, in spite of some anxiety among AIA staff about Hong Kong reverting to China that same year. His decision has been vindicated, as AIA Hong Kong is today the largest overseas chapter.

At the 1997 Accent on Architecture gala, Barr presented the AIA Gold Medal to Richard Meier, FAIA, and the Architecture Firm Award to R. M. Kliment & Frances Halsband Architects. At the convention he presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to Harold Adams, FAIA, RIBA, JIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Alan Y. Taniguchi, FAIA; and the AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion to Donlyn Lyndon, FAIA.

In addition to his AIA membership, Barr has maintained membership in the Royal Institute of British Architects since 1981. He is also a member of the International Interior Design Association and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Barr continues to serve the AIA and the profession after his presidency. He was on the Board of Directors of the National Architectural Accrediting Board from 1997 to 2000, and chaired accrediting team visits to Columbia University, University of Washington, University of Oregon, University Texas, Florida International University, and the Illinois Institute of Technology. He served as AIA liaison to the Architects Regional Council of Asia from 1997 to 1999, and presently serves on the Board of Trustees of RIBA-USA Council.


Barr began his career working in Ceylon with Panditaratna & Adithiya RIBA, Valentine Gunasekera RIBA, Geoffrey Bawa RIBA, and Justin Samarasekera RIBA. He then worked for Jon Prescott RIBA in Hong Kong before attending the University of London to obtain his RIBA Part II degree. While in London he worked with Llewellyn-Davies Associates and Watkins Gray on projects in the U.K. and the Middle East. His scholastic achievement garnered him a scholarship to the University of Kansas, where he obtained his M.Arch. In Kansas, he worked for Patty Berkebile Nelson Architects and Seligson Associates. After serving as senior designer at Barrett Daffin & Carlin in Tallahassee, Fla., Barr relocated to Washington, D.C., and began his architecture practice.

His career has brought him extensive experience in the design of hotels, resorts, restaurants, embassies, medical and institutional facilities, and custom residences, as well as sustainable design, interior design, and historic preservation. He has worked on such projects as the Cortland Medical Center, Cortland, N.Y.; the embassies of Sri Lanka, Malta and Trinidad & Tobago in Washington, D.C.; York District General Hospital, England; Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kansas; Teatro Dom Pedro V, Macau; World Bank headquarters and the Washington Cathedral, Washington, D.C. Restaurants in Washington, D.C., include Bibiana, Bombay Club, Oval Room, Ardeo, and Rasika. Current projects include eco-resorts and hotels in Panama, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and Saudi Arabia.

Barr is renowned for his ecologically sound design practices. He has authored three books, all published by Signature Press: Green Architecture: Strategies for Sustainable Design (2003), Sustainable Design Strategies (2010), and Fire Water Sound & Motion: Re-thinking Mechanical Systems in Buildings (2012). The Washington Post said of his work: “Raj Barr-Kumar’s designs are environmentally sound and aesthetically pleasing.”

Throughout his professional life, Barr has also maintained and enjoyed a teaching career consisting of:

  • Assistant professor, University of Kansas, 1975–79
  • Director and tenured Associate Professor, Florida A&M Architecture Center, Washington, D.C., 1979–85
  • Associate professor, Howard University, 1986–94
  • Visiting professor, Washington-Alexandria Center, Virginia Tech, 1984–86 and 1998
  • Emens Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ball State University, 1999
  • Visiting Design Critic, University of Maryland, Spring 2004, Spring 2012
  • Professor of Practice, Catholic University, 2003–present


  • Barr’s service to AIA and the profession has been recognized with numerous honors, including:
  • Walter Wagner Fellow, 1992
  • Fellow, The American Institute of Architects, 1993
  • Lambda Alpha International, Honorary Land Economics Society, 1994
  • Fellow, Bahamas Institute of Architects, 1995
  • Member of Honor, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 1997
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 1997
  • Honorary fellow, Japan Institute of Architects, 1997
  • Honorary member, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects, 1998
  • Honorary fellow, Philippine Institute of Architects, 1998
  • Honorary fellow, Pan American Federation of Architects, 1998
  • International Exceptional Achievement Award in Green Architecture and Sustainable Development, 2008

Upon the conclusion of Barr’s term as president of the Institute, the AIA Board presented him a citation, which read, “If architecture is the supreme act of optimism, if its history and destiny is the transformation of hopes and dreams into built reality, and if it is indeed nourished by a commitment to design excellence and social responsibility, then his was a uniquely powerful voice for a vision of the profession distinguished by equal parts of passion, joy, and the sure knowledge that to serve the client is to serve the community. A tireless advocate for the AIA at home and abroad, he accepted every challenge, knowing that eagles rise against the wind, not with it.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Elmer Botsai, FAIA


Term of Office: December 1977–December 1978

Elmer Botsai was born on February 1, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. After high school, he entered the U.S. Army, serving from 1946 through 1948. After discharge from the army, he earned an AA degree from Sacramento Junior College; in 1954, he received an AB from the School of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

Botsai began his architecture career in San Francisco and ultimately established his own firm, which became well known for its expertise in construction failures and forensics. In 1976, Botsai was appointed chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and began a second career in architecture education, becoming in 1979 the founding dean of the School of Architecture.

Botsai had a reputation of being fervent and intimidating about any issue he tackled. However, his intense desire for quality and accuracy became highly respected. Henry Degenkob, a renowned engineer, commented in Engineering News-Record that Botsai is “a man with an insatiable need to know why. In the early days Botsai was a rather difficult architect to work with. You had to justify everything. He always wanted to know why something was done in a certain way...he’s not satisfied unless it’s just about the best that can be done.” Robert Marquis, FAIA, an early critic and rival of Botsai, commented also to ENR: “I think he suffered from an early reputation. He has mellowed and matured.” In 2000, Botsai received one of the first doctorates in architecture from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a testament to his desire for knowledge.

Botsai married Patricia while living in San Francisco. They had two sons: Donald, who became an architect, and Kurt, who became an industrial designer. The marriage ended in divorce. In Hawaii, Botsai married Sharon. Unusual for a Hawaii resident, Botsai’s favorite pastime for many years was downhill skiing. He and his family enjoyed ski vacations at resorts on the U.S. mainland and in Canada.

Botsai’s community, academic, and service to construction industry organizations was extensive, and included:

  • Member, University of Hawaii Campus Planning Committee, 1986 – 90
  • Member, Honolulu Seismic Study Committee, 1983 – 86
  • Member, University of Hawaii Environmental Studies Committee, 1981 – 83
  • Member, University of Hawaii Energy Research Advisory Board, 1980 – 83
  • Chair, University of Hawaii Engineering Dean Search Committee, 1980 – 81
  • Comprehensive Planning Committee, Oahu Development Conference, 1979– 86
  • Member, Honolulu Advisory Committee on Planning and Growth Management, 1978 – 85
  • Member, Safety of Structures Committee, California Governor’s Earthquake Council, 1973 – 75
  • Member, ASCE Task Force on Codes, 1971 – 72
  • Director, San Francisco Community Design Center, 1968 – 70
  • Member, Architects Advisory Board of California Building Standards Commission, 1967 – 70

Botsai died in 2013 at the age of 85. He was survived by his wife Sharon Kaiser-Botsai, sons Donald and Kurt, and four grandchildren. His ashes were scattered in the ocean.


Botsai joined the AIA in 1963 as a member of the Northern California chapter. He served as chair of the Code Committee. After his term as national AIA president, Botsai served the Hawaii Society and AIA Honolulu in various capacities. In other AIA service, he was chair of the Architectural Educators to China delegation in 1979, chair of the AIA delegation to the 1978 UIA Congress and Assembly in Mexico, cochair of the NCARB/AIA Intern Development Program in 1975 – 76, and chair of the board of directors of the AIA Research Corporation. He served on the NAAB board of directors and on five accreditation teams.


After graduating from Berkeley, Botsai held architectural positions in San Francisco, including as a project architect with Anshen & Allen. In 1963, he formed a partnership, Botsai Overstreet, which became Botsai Overstreet and Rosenberg, Inc., AIA (BOR) in 1974. The firm specialized in troubleshooting and analyzing building failures, especially those involving water infiltration, curtain wall failures, dry rot disintegration, leaky roofs and skylights, and membrane and sealant failures.

Increasingly, Botsai’s firm was called in as a preventive consultant in the design phase. As a consultant to H. G. Degenkolb and Associates, the firm investigated water infiltration problems on the first Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. The John Portman firm retained BOR during the construction of Embarcadero 2 and during the design of Embarcadero 3. Portman also used BOR on the design of Peachtree Center Plaza and the Renaissance Center in Atlanta.

Botsai made a major career change in 1976 when he accepted an appointment as chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He became dean of the School of Architecture in 1980, a position he held until 1990. He remained a professor of architecture until 1998. In 1995, he took an “of counsel” position with Group 70 International, a position he held until his death.

Botsai’s career included an extensive list of memberships and service to many technical, research, and construction specialty organizations, as well as research, publications, and professional continuing education seminars on seismic design, water infiltration, wood building research, and various aspects of building failures. He was coauthor of Wood as a Building Material: A Guide for Designers and Builders (John Wiley & Sons, 1991).


Botsai became an AIA Fellow in 1974 and received numerous honors and awards, including the following:

  • Academico Honorario, La Sociedad de Arquitectos Mexicanos, 1978
  • Honorary Fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 1978
  • Honorary Fellow, New Zealand Institute of Architects, 1978
  • Honorary Fellow, Royal Australian Institute of Architects (the first American and the first architect to be so honored)
  • Certificate of Honor, Le Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana
  • Honorary member, Architectural Secretaries Association
  • Earnest H. Hara Award for Outstanding Lifetime Service to the Profession of Architecture
  • AIA Hawaii State Council Medal of Honor
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Hawaii

On hearing the news of Botsai’s death, former AIA President Donald Hackl, FAIA, wrote: “There was never any doubt where Elmer stood on an issue of interest to him. He said what he said because of his conviction, not for political or oratorical impact. Elmer was to AIA was Harry Truman was to the USA and I thank God for both of them.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Robert Clare Broshar, FAIA

Waterloo, Iowa (now living in Clear Lake, Iowa)

Term of Office: December 1982–December 1983

Robert Broshar was born in Waterloo, Iowa, on May 20, 1931. He graduated from West Waterloo High School and attended Iowa State University, receiving a Bachelor of Architecture degree and AIA Medal as the honor graduate of 1954. Broshar and Joyce Elaine Lukes, sweethearts since high school, were married in 1953 and have five children—Scott Richard, Michael Robert, Matthew Clare, Patrick Beadell, and Elizabeth Elaine—14 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Following graduation from Iowa State, Broshar spent two years as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, returning to Iowa in 1956 to begin architecture practice.

In 1996, Broshar retired from active practice, and he and his wife moved to Clear Lake, Iowa, where their lake home has been a family gathering place. They enjoy many lake and community activities in Clear Lake and nearby Mason City, and Broshar has been particularly active in restoration of the rich Prairie School Architecture of Mason City, including the only remaining hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Through his many years of community service in Waterloo, Clear Lake, and Mason City, Broshar has had leadership roles in the following organizations:

  • Founding board member and building committee member, Wright on the Park, 2005–
  • Board member/project director, Central Gardens of North Iowa, Clear Lake, Iowa, 2001–
  • Vice chair, River City Society for Historic Preservation, 1998–2005
  • Founding President, Iowa Architectural Foundation, 1989
  • Founding member and chair, Iowa State University College of Design Foundation, 1983–88
  • Iowa Governor’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, 1974–78
  • Director, First Federal Savings Bank, Waterloo, 1971–87
  • Board member/president, Blackhawk County YMCA, 1971–76
  • Board member, Blackhawk County Cancer Society, 1971–73


Broshar’s AIA activities began in architecture school, where he was regional editor of LINE magazine and president of the student chapter of AIA. He joined the Iowa chapter in 1956, serving on a number of committees and as director, vice president, and president (1972).

Broshar attended his first AIA national convention in 1960, when his (later) senior partner, Oswald Thorson, was a member of the board. Elected to the AIA Board of Directors in 1975, Broshar served three years as a director from the five-state Central States Region. He was twice elected vice president of the Institute, serving in 1979 and 1981. In 1981, he was chair of the national AIA convention in Minneapolis, where he was elected first vice president/president-elect. In December 1982, he was inaugurated as the 59th president at the newly restored Old Post Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The theme during Broshar’s presidency was “American Architecture: A Living Heritage”—the goal was to educate the public on the value of fine architecture. Broshar sought to shift the focus of AIA somewhat from protecting the interests of architects to increasing public awareness of architecture and creating an increased demand for good design.

The 1983 AIA convention in New Orleans emphasized the involvement of architects in public affairs; it had the largest professional education component up to that time. At the convention, Broshar presented the AIA Gold Medal to Nathaniel A. Owings, FAIA; the Architecture Firm Award to Holabird & Root; the Edward C. Kemper Award to Jules Gregory, FAIA; and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Howard Hamilton Mackey Sr., FAIA.

Broshar helped lead the 50th anniversary celebration of the Historic American Buildings Survey, the collaborative preservation effort of the U.S. Park Service, the Library of Congress, and the AIA. At Grassroots meetings in San Diego and Tampa, he led discussions on architects’ involvement in the political process, particularly at the state and local levels. Also during Broshar’s year as president, the AIA led successful efforts to preserve the original West Front of the U.S. Capitol and Lever House in New York City.

Broshar addressed the national architecture societies in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia on global goals for the architecture profession, and was an invited participant at the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) in Sydney. The AIA began an exchange of information and programs with CAA member societies as a result of that meeting. In a program jointly sponsored with the U.S. State Department Agency for International Development, Broshar led the AIA delegation at workshops in Peru (1983) and Guatemala (1984) on designing for natural disasters: earthquakes, fire, wind, and flooding. Every architecture society in the Western Hemisphere participated in the workshops, and the published results provided state-of-the-art design guidelines and disaster response resources.

Broshar also was an AIA delegate to the UIA Congress and Assembly in Poland in 1981, and to the Pan-American Federation of Associations of Architects Congress in Panama in 1984. He was a member of the Government Affairs Advisory Committee, Legal Decision Task Force, and Registration Law Task Force; a director of Production Systems for Architects and Engineers and the AIA Corporation Board; and chair of the Documents Futures Task Force. From 1983 through 1989, he chaired the Architectural Licensing Task Force, which developed Institute policies on education, training, and licensing of architects.

Broshar was a “legislative minuteman” for both the Iowa and national AIA, and was a founder and first president of the Iowa Architectural Foundation. In 2002, he chaired the Vision Iowa Task Force, charged with envisioning how architects would respond to demographic and economic changes in the state in the upcoming decade. In 2003, he served on the AIA Iowa Centennial Jury, which selected the five best examples of Iowa architecture from each decade from 1904 through 2004, as well as one Iowa “building of the century.” This undertaking resulted in a traveling exhibition, a book, a dedicated issue of Iowa Architect, and a series of programs on Iowa Public Television.


Broshar practiced architecture in Waterloo, Iowa, from 1956 to 1996 as a principal of Thorson-Brom-Broshar-Snyder Architects. The firm focused on healthcare and university facilities, as well as religious, recreational, commercial, and housing projects. Interior design services were provided through its subsidiary, INTRA. The firm was also a leader in adaptive use of older buildings.

Significant works on which Broshar had principal responsibility include the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, Waterloo; Communications Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City; Seerley Hall and Maucker Union addition, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls; Waterloo Savings Bank (headquarters and four branch offices); First Federal Savings Bank, Waterloo (headquarters and three branch offices); Blackhawk (Iowa) County Jail; Young Ice Arena, Waterloo; Allen Memorial Hospital, Waterloo (1962–96); and Architectural Interpretive Center, Mason City, 2011.

In 1973–74, Broshar chaired the multidisciplinary Iowa Barrier-Free Architecture Task Force, which evaluated all structures constructed under the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968. The report, authored by Broshar, was entered in the Congressional Record and resulted in new federal legislation to ensure better standards and improved education for designing for those with disabilities.


  • Master Builders of Iowa Architect Excellence Award, 2003
  • Phi Kappa Phi, Centennial Medalist, Iowa State University, 1997
  • Medal of Honor, AIA Iowa, 1992
  • Outstanding Practitioner in Education, AIA, 1988
  • Honorary member, Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 1984
  • Honorary member, Society of Architects of Guatemala, 1984
  • Key Service Award, ISU Club of Blackhawk County, 1984
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 1983
  • Leon Chatelain Award, National Easter Seal Society, 1983
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award, Iowa State University, 1982
  • College of Fellows, 1977
  • Distinguished Service Award, President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, 1974

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

John A. Busby Jr., FAIA


Term of Office: December 1985–December 1986

John Busby was born in Charleston, S.C., in 1933. His father was in the U.S. Navy, and the family lived in California before settling in Macon, Ga., where Busby went to high school. He took art lessons at Wesleyan Conservatory, often drawing houses. His high school adviser recognized his talent and suggested that he consider architecture as a career.

With strong encouragement from his father, Busby entered the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1952, the first person on his father’s side to go to college. He worked construction during summer breaks. After four years at Georgia Tech, Busby entered the U.S. Army; he served most of his tour of duty (1956–58) in the 11th Cavalry Headquarters in Regensburg, Germany. After finishing his military obligation, he returned to Georgia Tech for his fifth year of architecture school, determined more than ever to become an architect. He received a B.Arch degree in 1959.

In 1960, Busby married Mary Ann Cross of Sunbury, N.C. They have two daughters, Clarissa and Julia, whom they raised in the house on Plymouth Road in Atlanta where they still live. The house was designed by Georgia’s first female registered architect, Leila Wilburn (ca. 1939). The Busbys enjoy architectural history, travel, and collecting art and pottery.

Busby’s service to his community includes:

  • Vice president, Atlanta Landmarks, Inc. (the organization that saved and preserved the Fox Theater in Atlanta)
  • Atlanta Clean City Commission
  • Leadership Atlanta
  • Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Growth
  • Fulton County Commission on Disability Affairs
  • Atlanta Board of Education Special Study Commission on Facilities


Busby joined the AIA in the early 1960s. He served as president of the Atlanta chapter in 1974 and president of AIA Georgia in 1978. He was a director for the South Atlantic Region and served on the national Board of Directors from 1980 through 1982. He was a member of the Practice and Design Commission, Codes and Standards Committee, Communication Commission, Life Safety Task Force, Institute Structure Task Force, and Finance Committee.

In 1983, Busby was elected an Institute vice president. At the 1984 convention in Phoenix, he was elected first vice president/president-elect for 1985. He was inaugurated as the AIA’s 62nd president at the State Department Auditorium in Washington, D.C., in December 1985.

In November 1985, as president-elect, Busby hosted the U.K.’s Prince Charles on a tour of AIA headquarters and the Octagon, which included an exhibition of Sir Christopher Wren’s work. The prince participated in a conference arranged by the AIA on “Restoration of Inner City Housing.”

In his inaugural address, Busby set forth several initiatives for the Institute and the profession, saying, “As architects, we must play a strong role in reclaiming urban spaces from blight. We must work to raise the quality of national life. We must recommit our profession and our Institute to the concept of service. Our Institute...must be ready to...marshal the forces of our profession to serve the changing world. My goal as president is to secure our future as a profession, our continuing service to people everywhere, and a better life for those who live in the worlds we design in the next millennium and beyond.”

The theme of the 1986 convention in San Antonio was “The American Architect.” New Yorker writer Brendan Gill, the keynote speaker, said, “Until recently, the profession was not one to be entered to become rich, much less famous. It is only within the past decade that architecture has become fashionable....Now architecture—or, rather, architects—are all the rage.” Busby followed Gill’s comments, saying, “We proceed, we persist, we create, we change in order to give the world beauty, shelter, home and sanctuary. The new age is dawning, and this profession will build it. It is the greatest challenge that we face. And with skill, commitment, and willingness to adapt to new realities, it is going to be our greatest triumph.”

At the convention, Busby presented the AIA Gold Medal to Arthur Charles Erickson, Hon. FAIA; the Architecture Firm Award to Esherick Homsey Dodge and Davis; the Edward C. Kemper Award to Harry Harmon, FAIA; and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to the Reverend Richard McClure Prosser.

A major initiative during Busby’s year as president related to the rising cost of architects’ professional liability insurance. He established a task force to recommend actions to improve practice with the goal of lowering premiums. He also established an AIA education initiative to improve communication with architects in higher education and develop methods for the AIA to become more involved in architecture education.

Also during his term of office, an accord between the AIA and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada was negotiated and signed concerning the practice of architecture in the two countries.

Following his presidency, Busby was the AIA’s representative on the National Architectural Accrediting Board and served as its president in 1990. In 1990, he was chancellor of the AIA College of Fellows. In 2009, AIA Atlanta honored Busby by establishing the John A. Busby, FAIA, Medal to be awarded to a young architect who has been active in the community and professional affairs.


After receiving his degree, Busby worked with Abreu and Robeson, an Atlanta firm that specialized in healthcare facilities. After five years, he took a position with Heery and Heery, Inc. George Heery provided further mentorship to Busby, giving him the responsibility on the design team for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga.

In the 1960s, Busby began working on various small commissions with Stanley Daniels, a former classmate at Georgia Tech. Daniels worked for John Portman’s firm in the early 1960s and, through AIA activities, reestablished a friendship with Busby. The two young architects began working together at night in Daniels’ parents’ basement on various small commissions. At the same time, Henri Jova moved to Atlanta from New York, where he had been a designer with Harrison and Abramovitz. Jova moved to downtown Atlanta and began encouraging others to do so to stimulate neighborhood renewal in the city. Busby purchased his first home in Jova’s neighborhood; other architects followed, and the urban renewal movement in Atlanta gained momentum. In 1966, Jova, Daniels, and Busby established an architecture and interior design practice, Jova/Daniels/Busby, and opened an office in Atlanta. The firm is now J/D/B, with offices on Peachtree Street in Colony Square. In fact, J/D/B designed Colony Square, which was Atlanta’s first mixed-use development and the venue for the host chapter party during the 1975 AIA convention. When the firm was established, the partners set a retirement age, and Busby retired from the firm in 1999 with 39 years of active practice.

Projects in which Busby played a role include Underground Atlanta; First Christian Church, Tucker, Ga.; Alonzo Crim High School, Atlanta; First Baptist Church of Jonesboro (Ga.); Medical College of Georgia Ambulatory and Specialized Care Center, Augusta, Ga.; Veterans Administration Medical Center, Augusta; and Dunwoody Community Church, Atlanta. In a joint venture with Lawton, Umemura Architects, J/D/B designed the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta.

In 2001, Busby was invited to become an adjunct professor of architecture at Southern Polytechnic State University, Marietta, Ga. In 2002, he became chair of the Advisory Committee and served in that capacity until 2010, making significant contributions to improving the five-year accredited program.


  • College of Fellows, 1968
  • Ivan Allen Trophy, AIA Atlanta, for contributions to community
  • AIA Georgia Bronze Medal
  • Rocky Rothschild Medal
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Australian Institute of Architects
  • Member of Honor, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Gordon H. Q. Chong, FAIA

San Francisco

Term of Office: December 2001–December 2002

Gordon Hing Quon Chong was born on January 17, 1943, in Honolulu. He grew up in Honolulu and attended Roosevelt High School. He has said of his upbringing: “I think that being Asian was important in instilling the values of hard work and education. Within the Asian-American community, in those early years where first- and second-generation Asians won access to education, most encouraged their children to enter the fields of medicine, law, or business, and never art or architecture. My family was somewhat unique. In the early 1900s, my grandparents sent my father very far away from our home in Hawaii to study art at the University of California. He was an early pioneer in recognizing the importance of art and architecture in Asian immigrant culture.”

Travel to many parts of the world with his family exposed Chong to a variety of historical structures at an early age. This travel and his father’s interest in art were instrumental in his choice of architecture as a career. He earned a B.Arch degree from the University of Oregon in 1966 and an M.Arch degree from the University of Edinburgh in 1968. Following military service in the U.S. Coast Guard, Chong began his architecture internship with Bull Field Volkmann & Stockwell as well as Whisler and Patri, two midsized San Francisco firms that provided sound mentorship and fueled his passion for the profession.

In 1983, Chong married Dorian Kingman. They live in Lafayette, Calif., and have two daughters: Kaitlin Kei Lin Chong, a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, in animation; and Phoenix Reed Feinbloom, an accomplished mezzo-soprano who works as an associate director of development at Mills College. Chong maintains an active life with his practice, public service, and support of the arts, but he occasionally finds time to return to Hawaii for family vacations.

Chong has a long history of community and public service, including:

  • Commissioner, Redevelopment Agency of Berkeley, Calif., 1976–78
  • Commissioner, Housing Advisory & Appeals, Berkeley, 1978–80
  • Chair, Design Review Board, Berkeley, 1982 86
  • Commissioner, Berkeley Planning Commission, 1986–89
  • Member, Advisory Task Force on Long Range Planning Development Plan, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, 1992–93
  • Vice chair, Hospital Building Safety Board, State of California, 1994–2002
  • Member, Advisory Board, Center for Cooperative Construction Training and Exchange Between USA and China, 1995
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Mills College, 1996–99
  • President, Board of Visitors, University of Oregon, 2006
  • President, Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, 2006


Chong joined the AIA in 1973 and became active in the San Francisco chapter, serving on many committees and holding several chapter offices. In 1991, he became chapter president. He was chair of the AIA California Council committee that produced Adapt: Alternative Project Delivery Handbook, a role that allowed him to develop expertise in the use of various project delivery methods. He served as president of the California Council in 1996.

In 1996, Chong was elected by the California Council to the AIA Board of Directors for 1997–99. He then was elected an AIA vice president for 2000. At the 2000 AIA convention in Philadelphia, Chong was elected to serve as the Institute’s 2001 first vice president/president-elect. In December of that year, he was inaugurated as the AIA’s 78th president at the Organization of American States Building in Washington, D.C., the first Chinese-American to serve in that office. In his inaugural address, he said, “It strikes me that idealism expressed in this itch to make a difference, and even to change the world, is embedded in the very DNA of our profession. Making a difference is what it means to be an architect!”

As president, Chong advocated a “redefinition of the profession” and an expansion of the traditional role and services of architects. He encouraged clients to use architects for strategic “upstream” consulting before initiation of design, and he asked schools of architecture, NAAB, and ACSA to broaden the definition of an architecture curriculum. He urged graduates to enter leadership positions in nontraditional areas. Many of the “redefinition” principles became embedded in the AIA’s “Aligning the Institute for the Millennium” (AIM) strategic plan.

At the Accent on Architecture event in 2002, Chong presented the AIA Gold Medal to Tadao Ando, Hon. FAIA, and the Architecture Firm Award to Thompson, Ventulett, Stainbeck & Associates, Inc.

Chong presided at the 2002 AIA convention in Charlotte, N.C. His convention speech addressed the subject of architects and creativity: “The creative process that provides the web on which human activity can dance may be likened to a great river. It begins in the uplands of desire and rolls into the ocean of civilization. It responds to the heat of changing human needs and returns once again to the uplands, where the process continues to flow in an endless loop—need, analysis, developing a concept, refinement, implementation, critique, and then back again to need.” Also at the convention, he presented the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Robert P. Madison, FAIA, and the Topaz Medallion to Jerzy Soltan.

As AIA president, Chong led the AIA delegation to the UIA World Congress and Assembly in Berlin in 2002. He also served as the AIA representative, along with a representative from NCARB, in the effort to establish two separate professional fair trade agreements: one with Canada and Mexico (North American Fair Trade Agreement) and one with the European Union (Economic Partnership). After his presidency, Chong continued to represent the AIA in finalizing the terms of the agreement with the European Union.


In 1976, Chong launched his architecture practice, Gordon Chong Architects, in San Francisco. From its inception, the firm specialized in urban infill, campus planning, and design. The practice quickly grew, and the 200-person firm Chong Partners Architecture specialized in healthcare, education, life science, and cultural institutions. With offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, and London, the firm provided services in urban planning, architecture, interiors, environmental graphics, strategic consulting, and research.

Some of the significant projects completed by Chong’s firm include work at seven of the 10 University of California campuses, Stanford University, many Kaiser Permanente Hospital campuses, the Coca-Cola and Adidas pavilions for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco (in collaboration with the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, as the designer). The firm prospered because of its ethics and its belief in collaboration, integrated practice, support of research, and innovation.

In 2005, the AIA College of Fellows awarded the Latrobe Fellowship for research to Chong Partners Architecture, Kaiser Permanente, and the University of California, Berkeley. The fellowship was for a research study, “Multicultural Influences on the Design of a Healthcare Setting.”

Chong has served as president of the Asian-American Architects and Engineers, and as a board member of the Council of Asian American Business Associates. In 2002, he became a charter member of the World Association of Chinese Architects, headquartered in Beijing. In 2006, he served as a juror for the Pan-Gyo Housing International competition in Korea. In 2007, he was named vice chair of a State of California Advisory Board to design a Chinese museum. Chong’s firm sponsored an annual scholarship awarded to a minority student attending a California community college who was proceeding toward a bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture.

In September 2007, Chong Partners Architecture became part of Stantec, a 10,000-person multidisciplinary planning, architecture, and engineering firm with offices throughout the United States and Canada. In 2007, Stantec Architecture, a part of Stantec, was ranked by World Architecture as the 12th largest design practice in the world.


  • Member, Lambda Alpha International, an Honorary Land Economics Society, 1991
  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 1994
  • Fellow, John Boles Fellowship, California Council AIA, 1999
  • Fellow, American College of Health Care Architects, 2000
  • Honorary member, Japan Institute of Architects, 2002
  • Honorary fellow, Korean Institute of Architects, 2002
  • Honorary member, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 2002
  • President’s Medal, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 2002
  • Honorary Master of Architecture, The New School of Architecture, 2004

At the conclusion of his term of office as president, Chong was presented a citation, which said that he “advocated a hopeful vision of a vibrant, trusted profession thriving in the territory beyond projects, bestowing its knowledge and creativity globally in ever-expanding ways. Impatient visionary, he looked out to the future and urged his friends and colleagues to hurry forward to reap the rewards that are the prize that belongs not to a closed society or guild that would hoard its art as if it were a mystery, but to all those who have the courage to pursue new ideas, the conviction to lead where others have not gone before, and the confidence to welcome joyfully the diverse face of genius wherever genius sheds its healing light.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Sylvester Damianos, FAIA


Term of Office: December 1989–December 1990

Sylvester Damianos was born on December 31, 1933, in McKeesport, Pa. He graduated from McKeesport High School as valedictorian. He then entered the Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie Mellon University. He received a B.Arch degree in 1956 and was awarded the Stewart L. Brown scholarship from AIA Pittsburgh in 1955. Following graduation, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Technological Institute of Delft, Netherlands. He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1957–59) and then returned to Pittsburgh, where he obtained a position with Celli-Flynn Architects and Engineers.

Damianos married Eva “Lu” Spears, whom he met at Carnegie, where she studied painting education. They have three daughters—Lynne Lucille, Laurie Elizabeth and Leigh Lucille—and one grandchild, Eva Lucille Burns.

He enjoys tennis, Chinese cooking, and gardening, and is an accomplished sculptor, furniture maker, and woodworker. His artwork has been exhibited in London and New York and in numerous galleries, museums, and corporate offices throughout Pennsylvania. He was commissioned to design the Keystone Award for the American Architectural Foundation.

Damianos has served his community, profession, and art and education for more than 50 years. This service includes:

  • Vice-chair, District Design Committee, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 2005–present
  • Chair, Art Advisory Committee, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 1991–2004
  • Member, Fulbright Award Jury for Architecture and Planning, Institute of International Education, New York, 1992–95
  • Member, Advisory Board, Department of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University, 1992–present
  • Member, Campus Design Review Committee, Carnegie Mellon University, 1991–2005
  • Executive Committee, Andrew Carnegie Society, Carnegie Mellon University, 1988–91
  • Councilman, Borough of Edgewood, 1977–81
  • Chair, Planning Commission, Borough of Edgewood, 1976–77
  • President, Associated Artists of Pittsburgh
  • President, Pittsburgh Plan for Art
  • Board, Metropolitan Pittsburgh Public Broadcasting (WQED)
  • Board, Society for Contemporary Crafts
  • Chair, Friends of Art for the Pittsburgh Public Schools


Damianos joined the AIA in 1963. He was chair of the Collaborating Arts Committee for AIA Pittsburgh from 1965 to 1968 and president in 1980. He served as a director and vice president of the Pennsylvania Society of Architects (1981–84). He was elected as the Pennsylvania Society’s director to the AIA board for the 1985–87 term.

Following his service on the board, Damianos was elected vice president for 1988. He was a member of the Legal Oversight Committee and the national coordinator for the joint AIA/RIBA conference “Remaking Cities,” held in Pittsburgh, with the U.K.’s Prince Charles as honorary chairman. At the 1988 AIA convention in New York City, he was elected first vice president/president-elect for 1989. Damianos was inaugurated as the Institute’s 66th president in December 1989 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Damianos cited long-range planning, public outreach, and service to members as priorities for his presidential year. Regarding AIA’s Vision 2000, he said, “We’ve identified a lot of trends, from urbanization of suburbia to changing demographics to the need for research and development
to decaying infrastructures. We’ve talked to a lot of people outside the profession, and...we’re moving ahead, trying to establish goals to help our members prepare for what they might face in the next 10 years and beyond.” On the topic of public outreach, he said, “We hope to educate the public that the natural environment is impacted by what we build in it. Our vision is of a society that understands both the social and economic value of design.” Regarding service to members, he said, “The vision here is of an Institute driven by its members’ needs, organized and managed to respond effectively to those needs at national, regional, and local levels.”

A particular highlight of Damianos’ term was the first Accent on Architecture, a five-day program held in February 1990. The final event, a grand banquet and award gala, featured ABC News anchor Peter Jennings as master of ceremonies. Tom Selleck, Brooke Shields, and Joan Rivers also participated in the program. Many dignitaries, politicians, and former Gold Medal recipients were in attendance. In his keynote address, Prince Charles congratulated AIA Gold Medal recipient E. Fay Jones, FAIA, and challenged the architects, saying, “Our built environment seems to reflect the underlying misconception that we are the only generation on this earth, and that we are here to do with it as we wish.” Earlier in the day, President George H. W. Bush had presented Jones with the Gold Medal in a ceremony at the White House. Attending were members of Jones’ family, Damianos and AIA officers, and nearly every living recipient of the Gold Medal.

At the 1990 AIA convention in Houston, Damianos presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to Henry W. Schirmer, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Harry G. Robinson III, FAIA; and the Architecture Firm Award to Kohn Pederson Fox Associates.

Damianos and AIA representatives went to the White House on July 26, 1990, to attend the signing ceremony of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). President George H. W. Bush signed the act, which AIA had played an important role in developing and promoting. Damianos said, “Architects will play a vital role in translating the provisions of the ADA into accessible buildings.”

Damianos continued to serve the AIA after his presidency. He served on the board of regents of the American Architectural Foundation for seven years and was chair from 1991 through 1994. He was elected to the AIA College of Fellows Executive Board and served as chancellor in 2003. He has been a member of the AIA Headquarters Committee since 1990, and in 2004 was chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel for the AIA Sesquicentennial planning. In 1996 he was awarded the AIA Edward C. Kemper Award for significant contributions to the profession.


After his military service, Damianos obtained a position in Pittsburgh with Celli-Flynn Architects and Engineers. In 1967, he co-founded Damianos and Pedone. In 1979, the firm became Damianos and Associates and evolved into a number of partnerships: Damianos Brown Andrews, Inc.; Damianos+Anthony PC; and, finally, Damianosgroup PC.

Through the years, Damianos’ work has consisted not only of architecture but also of planning, graphics, industrial design, art consultation, and interior architecture. Many of his projects have been in the visual and performing arts and in education; they include the Purnell Performing Arts Center and the Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, University of Pittsburgh Johnstown Campus; Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children, Pittsburgh; Hazlett Theatre for the City of Pittsburgh; Wood Street Gallery for the Pittsburgh Cultural District; and a number of projects, spanning 30 years, for the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh (Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Science Center, and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh).


  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Carnegie Mellon University, 2004
  • Honor Award for furthering artistic appreciation, AIA Pennsylvania, 1997
  • Medal of Distinction, AIA Pennsylvania, 1997
  • Edward C. Kemper Award, 1996
  • Hall of Fame, McKeesport High School (Pa.), 1995
  • Honorary Member, Japan Institute of Architects, 1991
  • Dean’s Award, College of Environmental Design, California Polytechnic State University, 1991
  • Honorary Fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 1990
  • Member of Honor, Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 1990
  • Honor Award for contributions to the architecture profession, AIA Pittsburgh, 1987
  • College of Fellows, 1982
  • Alpha Rho Chi Medal, 1956
  • Tau Sigma Delta, honorary fraternity of architecture and allied arts, 1956

At the conclusion of his presidency, the AIA, through its Board of Directors, presented Damianos with a citation for exceptional service, which read, in part, “architect, artist, advocate for excellence, whose deep love of and great joy in his profession was stamped by a breadth of vision, a commitment to caring, and a dedication to service that set a standard of leadership which challenged architects everywhere.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Louis de Moll, FAIA


Term of Office: December 1975–December 1976

Born on August 19, 1924, Louis de Moll was raised in Swarthmore, Pa. Knowing that he would likely be called to service in World War II, and wanting to get as much education as possible under his belt first, after graduating from high school in 1942, he immediately began his architecture studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed the summer and fall terms, and then entered the U.S. Army in February 1943. A member of the 207th Combat Engineer Battalion, he was wounded during the Normandy invasion. After a hospital stay in England, he served with the First Engineer Combat Battalion of the First Infantry Division in the Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge, and across Germany.

After the war, he returned to the University of Pennsylvania and received an architecture degree in 1949. While still at Penn, he married Carol Maude Froebel, who had graduated with him from Swarthmore High School, and was his wife for 63 years. The couple had four daughters and one son.

De Moll was a member of the board of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, a member of the board and president of the Citizens’ Council of Delaware County, and a member of the board and president of a private school, The School in Rose Valley. He served on two key Philadelphia task forces—the Bicentennial Site Task Force and the Philadelphia Convention Center Site Selection Committee.

After de Moll retired from his firm, he established a consulting practice and reinvigorated an earlier interest in watercolor painting. His works, particularly those of Philadelphia scenes and the coast of Maine, sold well. Awards included the Second John Geizel Award and the Grumbacher Gold Medal, both at the Philadelphia Sketch Club. In 2006, de Moll and his wife left their home in Rose Valley, where they had lived for many years, and relocated to a retirement community in Newton Square. He died on 15 October 2013 at White Horse Village in Gradyville, Pa., surrounded by his family. He was survived by his five children, thirteen grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.


Beginning with the Philadelphia chapter, de Moll devoted a great deal of time to AIA. He chaired the chapter’s Public Relations Committee for several years, served on the board, and was chapter president in 1967 – 68. In 1964 – 65 he chaired a task force that conceived and implemented a plan to expand AIA Philadelphia’s programs, including the hiring of its first executive director.

De Moll’s involvement at the national level began in the early 1960s with his appointment to the AIA Committee on Industrial Architecture. The focus of the committee’s efforts was to encourage corporate clients to engage an architect, as well as a construction contractor or manager, at the beginning of a project in lieu of using a design-build firm. De Moll soon took over as committee chairman. Other early involvement at the national level included serving on the Committee on the Future of the Profession and on the Editorial Review Board of Architectural Graphic Standards.

Beginning in 1972, de Moll served two years as a vice president of AIA and a year as chairman of the Commission on Institute Affairs. During these early years on the AIA board, he chaired a task force on Institute restructuring and a special task force on communications. He also served as chair of the 1973 San Francisco convention. In 1974, de Moll was elected first vice president/president-elect; he served as president in 1976.

This was the nation’s bicentennial year, and de Moll was particularly pleased to host the AIA convention in Philadelphia, his hometown. At that convention, he presented the Architecture Firm Award to Mitchell/Giurgola; the Edward C. Kemper Award to Leo A. Daly, FAIA; and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Wendell J. Campbell, FAIA.

Perhaps de Moll’s most significant contribution as president of AIA was his effort to control the Institute’s operating costs during a year of economic stress.

In the early 1960s, while serving on the AIA Committee on Industrial Architecture, de Moll participated in international meetings of the UIA Work Group on Working Places. In the mid-1970s, several UIA members encouraged the AIA to nominate a candidate for the UIA presidency. The AIA board selected de Moll as its candidate. At the UIA General Assembly in Acapulco, Mexico, in 1978, de Moll was elected to a three-year term. As president of the organization, he traveled widely with his wife, Carol, participating in numerous international conferences and meetings. At the conclusion of his term, he served an additional three years on the UIA Council as past president. De Moll is the only American to have held the position of president of UIA.


Right after graduation in 1949, De Moll entered the office of the Philadelphia architecture and engineering firm of Ballinger, where his architect father, Carl de Moll, was a partner and his older brother John was an employee. Before long, the two brothers were partners in the firm and then principal owners. De Moll was partner in charge of design (1954 – 64), vice president of operations (1965 – 73), chairman (1974 – 83), and CEO (1984 – 86).

The Ballinger firm, founded in 1878, is one of the largest firms in Philadelphia, with a substantial practice in corporate office, research, and manufacturing facilities, as well as hospitals and educational institutions. De Moll was responsible for the design of the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Other projects in which he played a major role were Unisys Headquarters, Blue Bell, Pa.; NBC TV studios, Philadelphia; McNeil and chemistry lab buildings, University of Pennsylvania; Campbell Soup research and office facilities, Camden, N.J.; and pharmaceutical research facilities for Wyeth Laboratories and SmithKline Beechman. He was particularly proud of his ability to combine aesthetics with functionality for buildings large and small.

In addition to his architecture practice, de Moll was a guest lecturer at Penn and other universities and wrote articles on management for numerous publications. At Penn, he also served as a design critic and taught a course on professional practice for several years.

In 1986, de Moll retired from Ballinger to establish his own consulting practice, providing project management services for institutions with building projects but without skilled management staff. He also became involved in management consulting for such organizations as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and provided expert investigations and legal testimony for a number of other clients.


  • AIA College of Fellows, 1966
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
  • Honorary fellow, Society of Architects of Mexico
  • Honorary fellow, Superior Council of Colleges of Architects of Spain
  • Honorary fellow, Union of Architects of Hungary
  • Honorary member, Union of Bulgarian Architects
  • Honorary member, College of Architects of Chili
  • Honorary member, College of Architects of Venezuela
  • Honorary member, Society of Architects of Uruguay
  • Honorary member, Pan American Federation of Architects’ Associations
  • Honorary member, Bolivian College of Architects
  • John Harbeson and Thomas U. Walter Awards, AIA Philadelphia
  • Honorary doctorate, Spring Garden College

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Donald J. Hackl, FAIA


Term of Office: December 1986–December 1987

Donald J. Hackl was born in Chicago on May 11, 1934. He graduated from high school in Chicago and attended the University of Illinois in Chicago and Urbana-Champaign. He received a B.Arch degree in 1957 and a Master of Science degree in architecture in 1958. After graduation, he worked in Chicago with Comm, Comm & Moses, then with the architecture group of the Mechanics Research Division of American Machine and Foundry on highly specialized assignments, primarily for the U.S. military. Hackl joined Loebl, Schlossman & Bennett in 1963; he became an associate in 1967, an owner in 1970, and president in 1975, when the firm became Loebl, Schlossman & Hackl.

Hackl married Bernadine M. Becker. They have three children—Jeffrey, Craig, and Cristina—and seven grandchildren. Among Hackl’s hobbies are travel, reading, sailing, photography, and music.

In addition to his service to the Institute, Hackl has been involved in the profession and his community in many other ways, including the following:

  • Governor’s Commission to establish minimum design standards for detention facilities in Illinois
  • Mayor’s Commission to restore Chicago’s landmark Water Tower
  • Director and vice president, Chicago Building Congress
  • Director, Chicago Architectural Assistance Center
  • Member, President’s Council of the University of Illinois Foundation
  • Member, Curricular Advisory Committee, Department of Architecture, University of Illinois
  • Director, Resurrection Healthcare Foundation
  • Director, World Trade Center, Chicago
  • Life Trustee, West Suburban Hospital
  • Life Trustee, North Central College


Hackl joined AIA Chicago in 1970 and served on various committees. He was treasurer in 1977–79, first vice president in 1981, and president in 1982. He was elected to the AIA Board from the Illinois Council and served from 1982 through 1984, participating on various committees and boards. In 1985, he was elected vice president.

At the 1985 convention in San Francisco, Hackl was elected first vice president/president-elect for 1986. He was inaugurated as AIA’s 63rd president at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., in December 1986.

Early in his tenure, Hackl established the agenda for his presidential year: public education, particularly in the form of the republication of an AIA pamphlet, You and Your Architect, and advocating the idea of a PBS television series titled America by Design. As a supporter of lifelong learning and professional development, Hackl was instrumental in prompting the AIA to establish a program for peer review and liaison with the insurance industry and the American Bar Association to develop alternative methods of dispute resolution. In addition, he noted on more than one occasion that continuity from year to year was an important responsibility of AIA leadership. In support of continuity, he spearheaded an initiative to update the Handbook of Professional Practice and the AIA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

At a February 1987 meeting in New York with the editorial staff of Architectural Record, Hackl noted issues of concern to the profession and outlined AIA’s programs and goals for 1987. Hackl said, in part: “If ours is a profession that builds walls, the service of the Institute is to build windows into those walls: windows for greater professional development, windows for minority architects, windows for the recognition of design excellence, windows for creative intervention programs like our R/UDAT, windows for our profession to take a stand on national issues such as housing, energy, and historic preservation.”

During his presidency, Hackl brought the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and the American Subcontractors Association back into agreement to endorse AIA documents after their earlier refusal to do so. This led to a successful teaming of AIA with AGC in a joint legislative effort to earmark funds and tax incentives to rebuild America’s infrastructure. On behalf of the AIA, he signed an agreement with the president of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada to work toward reciprocity for architects and to have the profession, rather than government officials, establish requirements for cross-border architecture services. This precedent became the model for similar agreements undertaken by the World Trade Organization.

Other highlights of Hackl’s presidency include working with AIA Gold Medalist Kenzo Tange, Hon. FAIA, to found the Japan Institute of Architects, and working with UIA council member R. Randall Vosbeck, FAIA, to make Chicago the host city for the 1993 UIA Congress and Assembly.

Hackl presided at the 1987 convention in Orlando, Fla. He presented the Architecture Firm Award to Benjamin Thompson & Associates; the Edward C. Kemper Award to Joseph Monticciolo, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to J. Max Bond Jr., FAIA; and the Topaz Medallion to Ralph Rapson, FAIA. The Gold Medal was not awarded in 1987.


Near the end of his term as AIA president, Hackl was elected as a UIA Council member representing Region III (North and South America) at the UIA Assembly in Dublin, Ireland. Following that term, he was elected to two three-year terms as vice president for Region III and then two terms as treasurer. During his service with UIA, he advocated the development of an accord on international standards of professionalism in architecture practice and the establishment of commissions on professional practice, continuing professional development, and finance and development, as well as a UIA Fellows program to recognize the outstanding achievements of architects worldwide. Hackl has served
on five UIA Gold Medal juries.


As a young architect in 1963, Hackl joined Loebl & Schlossman, a firm that was established in 1925. He became president in 1975, and the firm changed its name to Loebl, Schlossman & Hackl. Since then, the firm has grown steadily and has received numerous awards for design work. The practice includes a range of public, commercial, office, mixed-use, educational, healthcare, and corporate work. In recent years, a significant amount of work has been overseas.

Hackl was involved in the design of Water Tower Place in Chicago, a 3.1-million-square-foot prototype urban high-rise mixed-use complex with shops, theaters, restaurants, offices, a hotel, and luxury residences. This facility has been a model for similar complexes worldwide; on completion, it was the world’s tallest reinforced concrete building.

He has led other projects as well, including a 64-story tower and renovation of the original building at Prudential Plaza in Chicago; City Place, a 40-story mixed-use development on Michigan Avenue in Chicago; facilities for Sears in New Jersey, Virginia, and California; and corporate headquarters for Benefit Trust Life Insurance Company, Commerce Clearing House, Allstate Insurance Commercial Division, Square D, and the Pepper Companies. He has also been involved with major medical facilities at King Faisal Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; West Suburban Hospital Medical Center, Oak Park, Ill.; and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Education work includes projects at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.; and the Performing Arts Center at North Central College, Naperville, Ill. His foreign work includes designs totaling more than 18 million square feet in China, South America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Hackl has lectured extensively on architecture and urban planning. He has been an urban planning consultant to the city of Changchun, China; a development consultant to Shenyang, China; a professor at Shenyang Jiangzhu University; and a guest lecturer at major U.S. and foreign universities. He has served as an architectural adviser to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Crain’s Chicago Business.


Hackl received his AIA Fellowship in 1982. In addition, he is an honorary member of the Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, Union of Bulgarian Architects, Society of Cuban American Architects, Instituto de Arquitectos de Brazil, Colegio de Arquitectos de España, Japan Institute of Architects, and Colegio de Arquitectos de Cochabamba (Bolivia). He is an honorary professor of the International Academy of Architecture; an honorary fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Korean Institute of Architects; and an honorary member of the Executive Committee, Pan-American Federation of Associations of Architects.

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Eugene C. Hopkins, FAIA

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Term of Office: December 2003–December 2004

Eugene C. Hopkins was born in Greenville, Mich., on March 25, 1952. He grew up on the dairy farm of his parents, Clifford and Arlene Hopkins, and attended a one-room country schoolhouse through the sixth grade, with the same teacher every year. After graduating from Belding High School in 1970, he enrolled in Ferris State University and obtained an associate degree in architectural drafting in 1972. That experience encouraged him to further pursue an architecture education, and he enrolled at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree with high distinction in 1974 and an M.Arch degree with high distinction in 1975.

Hopkins married Barbara Jane Rhody, his high school sweetheart whom he met in ninth grade when they shared an algebra book. They live in Ann Arbor, Mich., and have one daughter, Amanda Brie, who completed a master’s degree in environmental studies in 2007 and now lives in New Hampshire.

After graduation, Hopkins worked for several firms in the Ann Arbor and Battle Creek, Mich., areas before taking a position with Preservation/Urban Design/Incorporated in 1980, a firm headed by Richard Frank, FAIA. The work with this firm stimulated his interest in historic preservation, and he co-founded Architects Four, Inc., in 1984 to pursue that passion.

Hopkins has served his community and profession in various ways but most significantly through his expertise in historic preservation. This service includes:

  • Trustee, Michigan Architectural Foundation, 1989–93, 2010-12 vice chair
  • Director, Qualification Based Selection Coalition for Michigan, 1990–91
  • Member, Courthouse Advisory Board, Eaton County, Michigan
  • Director, Hiawatha Club (Upper Peninsula Michigan conservation group), 1996
  • Member, Michigan Historic Preservation Network
  • Member, Association for Preservation Technology

Perhaps his most significant community service is his work with Friends of the Capitol, a group devoted to preserving and increasing public awareness of the historical importance of the Michigan State Capitol. He has served on the board of directors and as vice president. Hopkins has been instrumental in developing a visitor orientation center that highlights the history and significance of the Capitol, and the efforts that went into its restoration. Due to his ongoing commitment to preserving the Capitol, in 2008 Hopkins was appointed Architect of the Michigan State Capitol.

Hopkins spends his spare time sailing, golfing, downhill and cross-country skiing, and building furniture.


Hopkins joined the AIA in 1979 and became active in the AIA Huron Valley, Michigan Chapter. He became a member of the AIA Historic Resources Committee in 1985. After serving as vice president (1987) and president (1988) of AIA Huron Valley, Hopkins was elected secretary (1991), treasurer (1992), vice president (1993), and president (1994) of AIA Michigan.

AIA Michigan elected Hopkins to the AIA Board of Directors for 1999–2001. During that term, he served on the Professional Interest Areas (PIA) Executive Committee and was the chair in 2001. He was instrumental in changing PIAs into knowledge communities, orienting them toward generating, collecting, and disseminating knowledge to the AIA membership. Hopkins was elected an AIA vice president for 2002, where he continued to stress the knowledge-based focus of the AIA. At the 2002 convention in Charlotte, N.C., he was elected first vice president/president-elect for 2003. In that capacity, he chaired the Government Affairs Advisory Committee and co-chaired the Long-Range Planning Advisory Group.

Hopkins was inaugurated as the Institute’s 80th president at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in December 2003. The Library of Congress was a fitting place for his inauguration, as he had provided material conservation services for its interior restoration.

During his presidency, Hopkins led efforts to renew the Historic American Buildings Survey, a partnership of the AIA, National Park Service, and Library of Congress; helped save the Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill.; pushed to advance the integration of historic preservation principles into the architecture curriculum of schools; and successfully advocated against the repeal of the federal 10 percent tax credit for preservation of historic buildings.

At Accent on Architecture in February 2004, Hopkins presented the AIA Gold Medal posthumously to Samuel Mockbee, FAIA, and the Architecture Firm Award to Lake Flato Architects.

Hopkins presided at the 2004 AIA convention in Chicago. At the convention he presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to Robert A. Odermatt, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Terrance J. Brown, FAIA; and the Topaz Medallion to Stanford Anderson. The convention theme, “Chicago! Learn Celebrate Dream,” capitalized on Chicago as an architectural laboratory for learning. An inspiring speech by Mayor Richard M. Daley challenged the profession to step up and lead the way in sustainability. Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City, gave an informative and entertaining presentation about the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and its architect, Daniel Burnham.

Hopkins continued his service to the Institute after his presidency. In 2005, he chaired the EVP/CEO Search Committee, resulting in the board’s selection of Christine McEntee as the new EVP/CEO. Hopkins was elected to the UIA Deputy Council for 2005–08, and he also served as an AIA150 champion for Michigan in 2006–07.


With the preservation experience gained in his employment with Preservation/Urban Design/Incorporated, Hopkins co-founded Architects Four, Inc., in 1984 with a commitment to historic preservation and restoration. He guided his firm to national prominence and gained extensive experience in the restoration and rehabilitation of hundreds of structures. In 1999 Hopkins merged his firm into the SmithGroup Inc., the oldest continuously practicing architecture and engineering firm in the United States, where he became a senior vice president in charge of historic preservation. In 2007 Hopkins co-founded a new firm, HopkinsBurns Design Studio, with his partner Tamara E.L. Burns, AIA, which emphasizes the principles of respecting our heritage through sound historic preservation and enhancing quality of life through good community design.

One of the most significant projects directed by Hopkins was the restoration of the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing. This project received a National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award in 1992, an AIA Michigan Honor Award in 1992, and an AIA Honor Award for Architecture in 1996. The Michigan State Capitol has become a model for the preservation of other state capitols around the country. Hopkins has also led the preservation, restoration, and adaptive use of such projects as the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Mich.; Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Mich.; Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Arts and Industry building, Washington, D.C.; Ten Chimneys, the residence of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Genesee Depot, Wis.; Cranbrook Educational Community, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Fishtown, Leland, Mich.; Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Mich.; and Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor. Many of these buildings are National Historic Landmarks.

In addition to his active practice, Hopkins has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Design as well as at the Lawrence Technological University College of Architecture.


  • Young Architect of the Year, 1992
  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 1997
  • Robert Hastings Award, AIA Michigan (named for a former AIA president), for contributions to the profession, 2002
  • AIA Michigan Gold Medal, 2003
  • Honorary fellow, Korean Institute of Architects, 2004
  • Honorary membership, Royal Australian Institute of Architects, 2004
  • Honorary membership, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 2004
  • President’s Medal, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 2004
  • Honorary member, Japan Institute of Architects, 2005
  • AIA Detroit Gold Medal, 2006
  • AIA Huron Valley Eugene C. Hopkins Distinguished Service Award, 2007

At the conclusion of his presidency, Hopkins was presented a citation for exceptional service from the AIA Board, which read: “The hallmark of true leadership is two-fold: Leaders possess the clarity of purpose to know where they are going, and have the gift, made evident by the power of their vision and the persuasiveness of their example to inspire others to go with them...Learning, celebrating, and dreaming defined the man, energizing an entire profession and bestowing upon the professional society he so loves a shining legacy.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

C. James Lawler, FAIA

West Hartford, Connecticut

Term of Office: December 1990–December 1991

C. James Lawler was born on August 24, 1943, in Greenfield, Mass. His family moved to West Hartford in 1953, where he has lived ever since. Lawler graduated from Mount Hermon School for Boys in 1961. He attended the Carnegie Mellon Institute of Technology five-year Bachelor of Architecture program in the College of Fine Arts in Pittsburgh, graduating in 1966. While at CIT (now Carnegie Mellon University) he was president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and, more importantly, he met Cindy Snyder, who was studying graphic design in the College of Fine Arts’ School of Painting and Design. They were married in July 1967, shortly after her graduation, and found an apartment in West Hartford. Lawler started working in the Redevelopment Agency for the City of Hartford in July after his graduation, and Cindy began working for the City Planning Agency as a neighborhood planner, providing graphic design for city street signs and logos for city cars and trucks.

The Lawlers’ first child, Joshua John, was born in 1971, and three years later Katherine Christine (“K.C.”) joined the family. Joshua received his Ph.D. in Environmental Biology from Utah State University, and now is tenured at the University of Washington. He and his wife, Anne, have given the Lawlers two grandsons, Finn and Cyrus. K.C. teaches math at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C.

Cindy is a potter, painter, and basket-maker. In 1995, at age 50, she decided to spend some time in self- and religious reflection and flew to Georgia to hike the Appalachian Trail. It took her six months, leaving in March and arriving in Maine in September. The Lawlers spend as many weekends as possible at their lake home in Tolland, Mass., in the foothills of the Berkshires.

In 1993–94, Lawler was a member of the National Committee for Standards in the Arts for K–12 education. He served on the Advisory Board of the University of Hartford’s School of Architecture from 1999–2006. He taught a sixth-year studio and later served as the interim head of the department. He was for several years an arbiter for the American Arbitration Association, a member of the Connecticut Engineers in Private Practice Mediation Group, and on the American Council of Consulting Engineers magazine editorial board from 1994–99. He also served as a member of the Carnegie Mellon University Alumni Admissions Council, and on the Board of Directors of the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, the first school for the deaf in the United States.


Lawler joined the AIA in 1978, became active in the Connecticut Society of Architects, and was elected president of that organization in 1982. He went on to serve as president of the New England Regional Council of Architects from 1984 through 1985. He served on several national AIA committees, and was chair of the ACSA/AIA Council on Architectural Research from 1986 through 1988. The New England Region elected him to the AIA board for a three-year term (1985–88). Among his assignments on the board were the Design Commission, R/UDAT Task Force, Urban Planning and Design Committee, and Media Advisory Group.

Lawler was elected as an Institute vice president for 1989 and chaired the Design Commission during that tenure. At the 1989 AIA convention in St. Louis, he ran for the office of first vice president/president-elect. During his campaign, he expressed these thoughts about the AIA: “Public awareness and advocacy of quality design and an understanding of the architect’s role in society should be the prime objectives of the American Institute of Architects, not just for this year, but for next year and every year. The AIA must also address the day-to-day issues that come before us, but the long-term needs of the profession should shape our mission. We are artistic problem solvers, creating forms and defining space to house the programmatic and technical needs of our clients. In order for us to be successful in our individual tasks, and to create an aesthetically pleasing and economically viable environment, the public must understand our profession and demand excellence. The AIA must shape that understanding.” Lawler was elected, and in December 1990 was inaugurated as AIA’s 67th president at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

At the Accent on Architecture celebration in 1991, Lawler presented the AIA Gold Medal to Charles W. Moore, FAIA. He presided at the 123rd AIA convention in 1991 in Washington, D.C., where he presented the Architecture Firm Award to Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership; the Edward C. Kemper Award to John F. Hartray Jr., FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Robert Kennard, FAIA; and the Topaz Medallion to Kenneth B. Frampton.

After his presidency, Lawler served on the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) from 1992 through 1995; he was NAAB secretary-treasurer in 1994–95. He remains active with NAAB and has served on 30 accreditation teams around the country. In 2001–02, Lawler served on the board of regents of the American Architectural Foundation. He served on the Executive Committee of the College of Fellows from 1997 to 2002, and as chancellor in 2001–02.


Lawler left the Redevelopment Agency of the City of Hartford in 1969 and began working in a small architectural firm; he and passed his architectural registration exam in 1972. In 1974–75 the architectural economy was difficult, and Lawler worked for four firms in a 12-month period. He was hired on a week-to-week basis by the last firm of that period, and was asked to become a partner. He and his partner began reducing staff to survive, and rebuilt the firm to 17 people as the economy recovered. Lawler left the partnership in July 1982 to open his own firm, C.J. Lawler and Associates.

Lawler has maintained a small practice primarily focused on K–12 public education facilities, with some church, healthcare, residential, office and commercial design. Representative work by his firm includes the Steeplechase Condominiums, West Hartford; Bethany Covenant Church, Berlin, Conn.; Woodbury Gymnasium and addition, Woodbury, Conn. (which won awards for its energy-conscious design); Hubbell School, Bristol, Conn.; Brewster School, Durham, Conn.; Lyman Memorial High School, a middle school addition and renovation in Norwich, Conn., and the Biomass Central Heating Plant for the Harvard University Forest.

In 2006, following service on the advisory board of the University of Hartford School of Architecture, Lawler was appointed interim chairman of the school. He served in that capacity for a year, focusing on furthering the school’s candidacy program in accreditation procedures.


  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 1990
  • Honorary member, Bulgarian Union of Architects, 1991
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 1991
  • Member of Honor, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 1992
  • Honorary member, Japan Institute of Architects, 1992
  • Alumni Achievement Award, Carnegie Mellon University, 2000
  • Edward C. Kemper Award, 2003

At the conclusion of his term as president, the AIA Board of Directors presented Lawler with a citation for exceptional service that read, in part, “Never wavering in his conviction that the future requires the special training and unique talents of architects, he was a voice of wit, decency, and courage in difficult times. By his example in both national and international forums, he showed that the spirit takes flight, not in calm weather, but rather when the winds of change test the mettle of the heart and mind. When others take shelter or curse the darkness, he soared.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Robert M. Lawrence, FAIA

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Term of Office: December 1981–December 1982

Robert M. Lawrence was born in Oklahoma City on August 22, 1930. The son of Martin Lawrence, AIA, he grew up appreciating architecture and the construction business.

Lawrence and his wife, Joanne, were classmates at Classen High School, graduating together in 1948. (George E. Kassabaum, FAIA, the 1969 AIA president, also graduated from Classen High School.) They were married in 1951 but continued their education, both graduating from Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University). He received Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degrees in 1953, and was awarded the AIA Medal as the outstanding architecture student.

Following graduation, Lawrence and his wife moved back to Oklahoma City, where he joined Noftsger & Lawrence, the firm in which his father was a partner. In 1963, he became a full partner in the firm. In 1987, he established his own firm, Robert M. Lawrence and Associates. He designed his family’s first home, where they lived for about 14 years until their two children, Carey and Lisa, needed more space. They acquired a larger home and lived there for more than 30 years, enjoying room for guests and an office to accommodate his practice in his later years.

Lawrence served his community and profession throughout his career, including as a board member of the Oklahoma City Beautiful, Inc. (1969–71), a member of the Oklahoma City Committee for A/E selection procedures (1973), and an appointed member of the Oklahoma State University School of Architecture Advisory Committee, serving as president 1989–92. He served as president of the Oklahoma City Travelers Aid Society, president of the Baptist Laymen’s Corporation, and president of the Kiwanis Club of Oklahoma City.

Lawrence died on February 21, 2011, surrounded by his family. His obituary was full of praise for his service to the AIA, and a video tribute about his dedication to his family and profession was shown at the 2011 National AIA Convention.


Lawrence served the Oklahoma City chapter as second vice president, first vice president, and president. While president of the chapter, in 1970, he was also president of the Oklahoma Council.

In 1972 and 1973, Lawrence was a member of the national AIA Committee on Office Practice. In the fall of 1973, he was elected to a three-year term on the national board, representing the Central States Region. He chaired the Ethics Task Force and the Commission on Professional Practice, and was chair of the board of PSAE, Inc.

Lawrence was elected to two successive two-year terms as AIA secretary, serving from 1977 to 1981. At the 1980 convention in Cincinnati, he was elected first vice president/ president-elect. He was inaugurated as the 58th president of AIA on December 4, 1981, at the Organization of American States Building in Washington, D.C. He was the first Oklahoma architect to become president of AIA, culminating nine years of service on the AIA Board. His father, Martin Lawrence, AIA, gave the invocation at his inauguration, which was particularly meaningful to Lawrence.

In an article in the December 10, 1981, issue of Engineering News-Record, Lawrence stressed the need for the profession to look ahead to the major changes in society that would affect the way architects do business and design buildings. He said, “Communication changes, the information explosion, and consequent changes in living conditions could have a profound impact on the type of buildings we live in and work in. We must look at this before it is upon us. Such things as living and working in the same place will become the norm.” Lawrence’s vision was highlighted at the AIA Grassroots
sessions in Washington, D.C., on January 28, 1982. The theme for the year, “A Quest in Time,” aimed to stimulate the Institute’s components to think about the future, especially the next 25 years. In the same ENR article, John M. McGinty, FAIA, the 1977 AIA president, was quoted as saying, “What impresses me about Bob is that in situations where others would easily become emotional and tense, he remains calm and rational. He’s always been a great mediator.”

The year of Lawrence’s presidency was the 125th anniversary of the AIA’s founding. On April 20, 1982, the Institute held a birthday party that was attended by many in the profession and dignitaries from other fields. The AIA Archives prepared an exhibition of Institute history for the lobby of the headquarters building.

The 1982 convention, held June 6–9 in Honolulu, was the first convention held outside the contiguous 48 states and included a Dodge/Sweets luau in the gardens of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The 125th anniversary was highlighted during the convention. At the convention, Lawrence presented the AIA Gold Medal to Romaldo Giurgola, FAIA; the Architecture Firm Award to Gwathmey Siegel & Associates; the Edward C. Kemper Award to Leslie N. Boney Jr., FAIA; and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to John S. Chase, FAIA. Earlier in the year, the Topaz Medallion was presented jointly with ACSA to Joseph Esherick, FAIA, at the ACSA annual meeting in Quebec.

During 1982, Lawrence represented the AIA at the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) to protest the placing of a statue of three soldiers in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, designed by Maya Lin, recipient of the AIA Twenty-five Year Award, 2007. Thanks in part to the efforts of the AIA, a longtime supporter of Lin’s design, the CFA agreed to the placement of the statue in a less distracting location at one side of the memorial.

In 1983, Lawrence was appointed to a four-year term on the National Architectural Accrediting Board; he served as NAAB president in 1986–87 and made numerous accreditation visits to architecture schools.


After obtaining his architecture degree, Lawrence joined the firm of Noftsger & Lawrence. A few years later, the firm was renamed Noftsger, Lawrence, Lawrence and Flesher, and he became primary partner in charge of design and production. In addition to being a registered architect, Lawrence was a registered professional engineer in Oklahoma.

The firm designed many types of buildings, including schools, university buildings, churches, office buildings, banks, country clubs, stadiums, prisons, and healthcare and recreational facilities. The firm completed 10 projects at Central State University in Edmond, Okla., between 1960 and 1965, and was associate architect for the University of Oklahoma stadium (upper deck west side seating project and press box and the south end zone project) in Norman. The firm received an AIA Local Chapter Design Award and the Layton Award for innovative use of brick masonry at the Heritage Hall School (upper school) in Oklahoma City.

In 1987, Lawrence formed Robert M. Lawrence and Associates, and practiced until his illness leading to his death.


Lawrence received his AIA Fellowship in 1975. He was also an honorary fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and an honorary member of the Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana. He was elected to the Oklahoma State University College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology Hall of Fame in 1992.

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Susan A. Maxman, FAIA


Term of Office: December 1992–December 1993

Susan Maxman was born in Columbus, Ohio, on December 30, 1938. With twin sisters not quite two years older and lots of pets, Maxman had a blissful childhood in Columbus. She graduated from Columbus School for Girls and then attended Smith College in Northampton, Mass. After two years, in 1958, she left to marry Leonard Frankel. They had three children: Andrew, Thomas, and Elizabeth. After divorcing Frankel, she married William Maxman, who also had three children. The six children were ages 4 to 10, and the family drew comparisons to The Brady Bunch, a TV show from the early 1970s about what we might now call a “blended family.” Several doctoral candidates from Bryn Mawr studied the “blended” Maxman family. When asked why she thought her family worked so well, Maxman would refer to The Brady Bunch, crediting the show in part for normalizing the children’s particular family experience. Eventually, all six children lived with the Maxmans, and both parents considered the stepchildren as their own.

In the early 1970s, Maxman was anxious to resume her education and become an architect. She knew of Louis Kahn and decided that she wanted to attend the University of Pennsylvania, to study with Kahn. She convinced Penn to enroll her in the master’s program even though she didn’t have a bachelor’s degree, with the understanding that she would successfully complete courses in calculus and physics. She completed those courses and received her M.Arch in 1977.

William Maxman died in 1997, and in 2001 she married Rolf Sauer, a landscape architect from Philadelphia. Sauer has one daughter, and the couple has 15 grandchildren. Maxman and Sauer enjoy sailing and in 2007 completed a house on Elbow Cay in the Bahamas. When they are not working, they divide their time between the Bahamas and their sailboat.

Maxman has always maintained an active role in her community and in public endeavors, particularly related to environmental and planning issues. This service includes:

  • Carpenter’s Club, Philadelphia (first woman admitted to membership)
  • Member and past chair, Board of Overseers, University of Pennsylvania School of Design
  • Past chair, Urban Land Institute Environmental Council
  • Member, MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for Architecture
  • Member, Preservation Alliance of Philadelphia Board of Directors
  • Peer reviewer, U.S. General Services Administration
  • Member, Design Commission, Georgia Tech
  • Juror for more than 30 competitions and design juries, including the DOE Solar Decathlon


Maxman joined the AIA in 1980. She served on the Philadelphia chapter’s board of directors from 1981 through 1987. She was secretary, president-elect, and president of the Pennsylvania Society of Architects (PSA) in 1987. As PSA president, she created a regional magazine to provide outreach to the public. From 1983 through 1986, she served on the AIA’s Women in Architecture Committee and was its chair in 1985.

PSA elected her as its representative on the AIA Board of Directors for a three-year term (1989–91). During her term she was a regent on the American Architectural Foundation (AAF), co-chaired the AAF Octagon Terrace Circle Capital Campaign, chaired the Public Affairs Committee, and was vice chair of the Membership Services Commission. She also focused on increasing AIA’s public outreach.

In 1991, at the national convention in Washington, D.C., Maxman was elected first vice president/president-elect. Her election was particularly important for the Institute, as it marked the first time a woman had been elected to the national presidency in its 134-year history. She was inaugurated as the 69th AIA president at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., in December 1992.

Maxman’s election came 103 years after the AIA admitted its first female member, Louise Bethune, FAIA, in 1888. But, as reflected by Maxman’s own path through the Institute, women held leadership positions at the state and local levels decades before Maxman became national president. Perhaps the first woman to be elected a chapter officer was Henrietta Dozier, who served as secretary of AIA Florida in the early 1920s. Beverly Willis, FAIA, was president of the AIA California Council in 1974. During that year, she introduced—and the AIA passed—a resolution at the national convention calling for the AIA to publicly support the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Maxman represented the Institute at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and environmental issues became a major focus of her work as president-elect and president. She said, “I decided that I was going to do everything in my promote an awareness by architects that they can make a difference in the way they design. We’ve got to learn how to be in balance with nature.” Energy efficiency, sustainability, and the environment were the major foci during her year as president.

At Accent on Architecture in January 1993, Maxman introduced the 1993 AIA Gold Medalist, Kevin Roche, FAIA, and presented the Architecture Firm Award to Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. President Bill Clinton had presented the Gold Medal to Roche earlier in the day at a White House ceremony, which Maxman attended. Since this event was one of Clinton’s first photo ops as president, all of the networks were present, and the event was featured on the TV evening news and in the Washington Post.

In an unusual move, the AIA awarded a second Gold Medal in 1993 to Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and architect of Monticello and the University of Virginia. Maxman presided over the ceremony, held at Monticello in April 1993.

While president, Maxman addressed the New England Women in Real Estate luncheon in Boston. Just before her speech, in an interview with the Boston Globe, a reporter asked about her thinking on sustainability. “What’s so annoying is that it’s not new,” replied Maxman. “It’s just that we’ve forgotten everything that we used to know as common sense. We don’t use common sense anymore because when man started to control his environment by [artificial heating and cooling systems]..., it freed us up and we forgot that wasn’t really a very sustainable way to design.”

Maxman presided at the 1993 convention in Chicago, held simultaneously with the UIA Congress and Assembly. The AIA and UIA sponsored an international competition on sustainable design and set forth a “Declaration of Interdependence,” spelling out what the profession must do for the environment and the world. At the convention, Maxman presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to Theodore F. Mariani, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to David Castro-Blanco, FAIA; and the Topaz Medallion to Mario Salvadori, Hon. AIA.


After Maxman received her M.Arch degree, she took a position with Kopple Sheward and Day before forming a partnership, Maxman/Sutphin, in 1980. In 1985, she formed Susan Maxman Architects, a sole proprietorship. She added four partners to the firm in 1995, and it became Susan Maxman & Partners Ltd.

The firm’s early work was marked by sensitivity to context and the environment, and included historic preservation and restoration projects. Camp Tweedale, a Girl Scout camp in Oxford, Pa., which garnered considerable attention and many awards (including an AIA Honor Award), generated additional camp commissions for the Girl Scouts and the Episcopal Church.

As the firm grew, it earned commissions from community-based nonprofit organizations, universities, cultural organizations, and government agencies, establishing expertise in sustainable design. The firm’s noteworthy projects include restoration of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Motherhouse in Monroe, Mich., and the Cusano Environmental Education Center for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Philadelphia.

Both projects were honored with AIA Top 10 Green Projects awards. The Philadelphia Navy Yard Building 10 renovation and restoration was one of many historic preservation projects for which the firm received awards.

University work is a specialty of the firm, including the renovation of Penn’s Roberts Hall, an addition to the law school, and a multimillion-dollar building renovation for the Nursing School. For Penn State, the firm designed a new dormitory and a visitor center. The firm’s projects also include a children’s zoo for the Philadelphia Zoo, a fire station at Walt Disney World, a new headquarters building for the Natural Lands Trust in Media, Pa., and two visitor centers in West Virginia: Seneca Rocks and Sandstone. The firm has received more than 65 awards, including 14 AIA design awards and 14 awards commending environmental responsibility.

Susan Maxman has transitioned ownership of the firm to her partners and is currently working with them on several projects. She was appointed to the Fellows Jury of the AIA in 2011 for a three-year term and received a Presidential Appointment to the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences for a three-year term.


Maxman’s leadership and service to the profession have been recognized with numerous honors, including:

  • AIA College of Fellows
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
  • Member of Honor, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana
  • Honorary doctorate, Ball State University
  • Honorary doctorate, University of Detroit-Mercy
  • Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania
  • Thomas U. Walter Award (first recipient), AIA Philadelphia
  • Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business Award
  • Shattering the Glass Ceiling, Women’s National Democratic Club

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Ted P. Pappas, FAIA

Jacksonville, Florida

Term of Office: December 1987–December 1988

Ted Pappas was born in Jacksonville, Fla., on March 3, 1934. His mother, Frieda Katsevelos, and father, Phillip, emigrated from Greece as teenagers and met in Jacksonville, where they were later married. They were among the founding members of the Greek community that established St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church in Jacksonville. Fifty years later, Pappas started his career by designing the new St. John the Divine Church and later the National Greek Orthodox Shrine in Jacksonville, winning design awards for both. Pappas’ father served in the U.S. Army in World War I and later owned and operated a Greek restaurant. His mother, a homemaker, raised three children (with Ted the youngest). He attended schools in Jacksonville and entered Clemson University in 1953. He graduated from Clemson with a B.Arch degree. After graduation, he worked for several architecture firms before establishing Pappas Associates Architects in 1968.

In 1962, Pappas married Mary Lee Bone. They have three children—Mary Katherine, Christy, and Mark—and five grandchildren.

Pappas is a voracious reader and is well-read on a variety of subjects. His hobbies include astronomy, sailing, and philosophy.

In addition to service to his profession, Pappas has always remained active in serving his community. This service has included:

  • JCCI Study Committee on the St. Johns River
  • Chair, Riverside Fine Arts Association
  • Board chair, National Conference NCCJ, Jacksonville Region
  • NCCJ National Board
  • Chair, Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission Board
  • Board chair, Greenscape of Jacksonville
  • Board chair, Jacksonville Urban League
  • National Greek Orthodox Shrine Executive Committee
  • State of Florida Capitol Center Planning Commission

Pappas has contributed his expertise to academic institutions as well, serving on committees, councils, and boards for Clemson, the University of Florida, and Mars Hill College, N.C.


Pappas joined the AIA in 1964. He became active in various committees of the Jacksonville chapter and served as treasurer from 1974 through 1976. He was president-elect in 1977 and president in 1978. He received the John Dyal Memorial Award for service to the chapter and later received the Henry J. Klutho Award for distinguished service. He became active in the Florida Association and was its president in 1981.

The Florida-Caribbean region elected him to the AIA Board of Directors, where he served a three-year term. While serving on the board, he was commissioner for the Technical Committee and a member of the Media Advisory Committee. He was elected vice president for 1985. At the 1986 convention in San Antonio, Pappas was elected first vice president/president-elect. He was inaugurated as the Institute’s 64th president in December 1987 at the Organization of American States Building in Washington, D.C.

The Engineering News-Record said, “Everyone likes Ted Pappas. He’s known as a solid individual with an unbelievable amount of energy. But his enthusiasm is so low-key that even people he is organizing don’t know they’re being organized.” The article noted his primary goal for the year: “Pappas would like to see a public awareness of the architect as the Renaissance man, who can integrate art, business, and technology.”

A few years earlier, Pappas had helped create an AIA long-term planning initiative called Vision 2000. In 1988, Pappas organized a seminar program to gather information from a diverse group of experts to address the technology, demographics, and culture envisioned in the 21st century. Concerning the seminar, Pappas said, “Once we reduce the uncertainty of the future, architects can position themselves as leaders and help shape it.”

In his 1988 address to a joint AIA/RIBA conference titled “Remaking Cities,” Pappas said, “The challenge for architects is to get out of their offices and into the community. The challenge for the community is to stop waiting for a white knight or ‘master builder’ and to take charge of its own future.” The U.K.’s Prince Charles, in addressing the closing session of the conference, urged the architects in attendance to create places of interest to the public and to go beyond functionalism by “embellishing buildings for man’s pleasure and for the sheer joy in beauty itself.”

The Vision 2000 theme was carried into the 1988 AIA convention in New York City. There was no Gold Medalist for 1988, but at the convention Pappas presented the Architecture Firm Award to Hartman-Cox; the Edward C. Kemper Award to David Lewis, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Habitat for Humanity; and the Topaz Medallion to John Hejduk, FAIA.

After his presidency, Pappas served on the board of regents of the American Architectural Foundation from 1986 through 1991. From 1989 through 1991, he served on the National Architectural Accrediting Board, participating in 17 accreditation visits to architecture schools; he became president of National Architectural Accrediting Board in 1991. In 2002, Pappas was elected to the Executive Committee of the College of Fellows; in 2006, he served as chancellor.


Pappas established Pappas Associates Architects in 1968. In 1999, he joined in an association with JSA, and in 2003 he established PBV Architecture with longtime partner Jerry Brim.

Through the years of his practice, Pappas has been involved in a variety of commercial, institutional, educational, government, and residential projects. Projects designed under his leadership include St. John the Divine Greek Orthodox Church, Jacksonville; St. Photios National Greek Orthodox Shrine, St. Augustine, Fla.; Duval High School (oldest high school in Florida) conversion to senior housing, Jacksonville; Carnegie Library (oldest library in Florida) conversion to legal offices, Jacksonville; DuPont Estate Restoration and conversion to Epping Forest Yacht Club, Jacksonville; Seminole Club Restoration (oldest private men’s club in Florida), Jacksonville; Mary Singleton Senior Center, Jacksonville; Webb Public Library and Beaches Library, Jacksonville; Resurrection Catholic Church, Jacksonville; Mandarin Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville; Edward Waters College Sports and Music Complex, Jacksonville; University of North Florida stadium, computer science building, and dormitories, Jacksonville; University of Florida journalism building, Gainesville ; and five prototype elementary schools for the Duval County (Fla.) School Board.


Pappas became an AIA Fellow in 1982. His service to his community, the profession, and AIA has been recognized with numerous honors. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and an honorary member of the Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana. He received the Florida Association AIA Pullara Award, Gold Medal Award, and Millennium Award, as well as the Clemson University Distinguished Alumnae Award and the University of Florida Distinguished Service Award.

At the conclusion of his presidency, the AIA board presented Pappas with a citation that read, in part, “Of him (to paraphrase Shakespeare) it may be truly said that age could not wither nor custom stale the infinite variety of his good works that advanced the reputation of the Institute and the capacity of the profession to serve society. His was a style of visionary leadership, not by memory, but imagination and a unique capacity to absorb new facts, to ask insightful questions, and to inspire in others a quality of creativity that unlocked their full potential. A leader for all seasons, he understood that to get to the center of things, one often has to dare to go to the edge.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Thompson E. Penney, FAIA

Charleston, South Carolina

Term of Office: December 2002–December 2003

Thompson E. Penney, FAIA, was born on September 7, 1950, in Charleston, S.C, of parents John T. Penney, an accountant, and Doris N. Penney, an elementary school teacher, both Charleston natives. Penney was raised in Charleston and attended schools there, graduating from St. Andrews High School in 1968. While in high school, he worked part-time with Lucas and Stubbs Associates, Ltd., which marked the beginning of his pursuit of a career in architecture. He attended Clemson University and obtained a B.A. with honors in pre-architecture in 1972 and an M.Arch degree with honors in 1974. While at Clemson, Penney received numerous academic and design honor awards, including the AIA School Medal, the top award for architectural design excellence in the master’s program. After completing his master’s degree, he returned to Lucas and Stubbs and launched his architecture career as the firm’s lead designer. In 1978, Penney was named a principal, and in 1982 the firm became LS3P Associates Ltd. In 1989, he was elected president/cCEO and in 1990 received his fellowship for design from the College of Fellows.

Penney is married to Gretchen McKellar Penney, AIA, also a Clemson graduate. They have four children: Fletcher Thompson Penney, a doctor; John Colin Penney, a filmmaker; Charles Brooks Johnson, a Clemson architecture student; and Francis Lillian Johnson, a Clemson business student. In his limited spare time, Penney enjoys golf, reading, collecting art, and spending time with Gretchen, especially in their 600-square-foot mountain cabin in North Carolina.

Penney has maintained a belief that service to his community is a vital aspect of his architecture career. His service includes:

  • Chair, Board of Directors, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2007–08 (board member, 1992–95 and 2004–05; chair-elect, 2006–07)
  • Co-Chair, Regional Economic Strategic Plan, Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Regional Development Alliance, 2010–11
  • Member, Board of Directors, Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Regional Development Alliance, 2007–10
  • Member, Board of Directors, Trident CEO Council, 2011–
  • Member, Advisory Board of Directors, ThinkTEC 2007–2008
  • Member, Board of Directors, South Carolina Aquarium, 2011–
  • Member, Board of Directors, Charleston Metro Chamber Education Foundation, 2006–08
  • Board of Directors, Gibbes Museum of Art, 2005–07
  • Trident United Way, Ambassador, 2004–12
  • Board of Directors, Charleston Civic Design Center, 2006–12
  • Board of Trustees, College of Charleston Foundation, 1987–94
  • Architectural Review Board, City of Charleston, 1982–90

Penney has also been a loyal supporter of Clemson University and its School of Architecture. He has served both in many capacities, including:

  • Search Committee for the Dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities, 2009–2010
  • Search Committee for the Chair of the School of Architecture, 2004–05
  • Commission for the Future of Clemson University, 1997–98
  • Clemson University Foundation Board of Trustees, 1995–97
  • Clemson Architectural Foundation Board of Trustees, 1973–74, 1993–2001; president, 1995–97


Penney began his relationship with the AIA as an active student member of the Clemson chapter of AIAS. Upon graduation, he became a member of AIA Charleston. He served in many capacities with the local chapter, becoming president in 1981. His interest in serving the profession continued, and he became active in AIA South Carolina as well. He served as chair of the Government Affairs Committee, co-chair of the South Atlantic Regional Convention, secretary-treasurer, chair of the Quality in Construction Initiative, vice president, and in 1994, became president of AIA South Carolina.

The South Atlantic Region of AIA elected Penney as its representative on the AIA Board of Directors for the 1998–2001 term. While on the AIA board, he co-chaired the AIA/AGC Joint Committee, chaired the Honors for Collaborative Achievement Awards jury, and served on the AIA/AIM Monitoring Task Force, Interior Design Collaboration Committee, and Board of Regents of the American Architectural Foundation.

At the AIA convention in Denver in 2001, Penney was elected first vice president/president-elect for 2002. In that capacity, he served as a member of the AIM Advisory Group, liaison to the Asia-Pacific Economic Commission, chair of the Government Affairs Advisory Committee, and member of the AIA delegation to the UIA Congress and Assembly in Berlin. Also in 2002, Penney created and designed the America by Design pin to raise money for AIA’s ArchiPAC, as well as created and designed the Upjohn Medal to recognize AIA board members who had been designated Upjohn Fellows.

With eight inches of snow on the ground, on December 6, 2002, Penney was inaugurated as the Institute’s 79th president at Daniel Burnham’s Union Station in Washington, D.C. He established the theme for the year as “Design Matters: Poetry and Proof.” In his inaugural address, he said, “We have the opportunity not only to celebrate the poetry of our work, in other words, what elevates the human spirit—we also have an opportunity—and I would say responsibility—to offer proof about how design enriches human life.”

Penney focused on the importance of research to the architecture profession, emphasized the meaning of an AIA membership, including the rethinking of the AIA brand, and conducted a knowledge needs assessment that resulted in an extensive AIA knowledge agenda.

A new research journal, AIA/J, was launched in 2003. Other initiatives of that year included the formation of the Long Range Planning Advisory Group to formalize strategic planning as a multiyear process, the Walk-A-Day in My Shoes program with AGC, and the issuance of a formal annual report. An accord was reached with the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, signed in Sydney in May.

At the Accent on Architecture gala in February, architecture critic Paul Goldberger was the keynote speaker and Penney presented the Architecture Firm Award to Miller Hull Partnership. There was no Gold Medal awarded in 2003.

During his presidency, Penney convened a meeting with President George W. Bush’s senior tax advisor to promote the idea of creating a tax deduction or tax credit to promote sustainability. He suggested that, as the Historic Tax Credits had taken historic preservation from the right thing to do to the smart thing to do and finally the thing to do, tax benefits could encourage sustainability by making it the smart thing to do. This conversation laid the groundwork for the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which created tax deductions for architects and building owners for energy efficient buildings.

The theme of the national convention, held in San Diego, was “Design Matters: Poetry and Proof.” In a convention speech, Penney said: “The power of design doesn’t have to carry a big stick. It can speak softly through the joy that one experiences in contact with the craftsmanship of a finely wrought detail. Whatever the scale, the impact is magical. It’s like grabbing hold of some sort of third rail of elemental energy, energy that flows into and out of the heart of the universe. The human spirit is elevated. I call this the poetry of design.” Keynote speakers were Dr. Fred Gauge, a world-renowned neuroscientist from the Salk Institute; Daniel Libeskind, then newly selected as architect for planning the World Trade Center site; and Billie Tsien and Tod Williams. The College of Fellows investiture was held under beautiful blue skies at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif. In support of the “proof” side of the convention theme, the convention legacy project established the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture at the Salk Institute, of which Penney was a founding board member. At the convention, Penney presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to C. James Lawler Jr., FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association; and the AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion to Marvin J. Malecha, FAIA. Electronic voting was used in the annual business meeting for the first time.

After his presidency, Penney continued his service to the Institute as chair of the AIA Awards Task Force, 2012–13; chair of the EVP/CEO Search Committee, 2010–11; co-chair of the AIA/AGC Joint Committee, 2004–2005; co-chair of the Long-Range Planning Advisory Group, 2004; chair of the EVP/CEO Succession Planning Group, 2004; member of the Global Strategies Task Force, 2005; and member of the Board of Regents of the American Architectural Foundation, 1999–2006 and its Octagon Task Force, 2005–06.


While in high school and throughout his student days at Clemson, Penney worked part-time for Lucas and Stubbs Associates Ltd. in Charleston. After graduation from Clemson, he rejoined the firm and soon became the lead designer. In 1978, Vito Pascullis, Richard Powell, and Penney became partners in the firm, and in 1982 it was renamed Lucas, Stubbs, Pascullis, Powell and Penney, Ltd. LS3P soon became the popular abbreviation of the firm and later the firm name.

Penney served as the lead designer of LS3P, and in 1989 became its president/CEO. The firm has had excellent success since its early beginnings and maintains a diversified practice of corporate/commercial, mixed-use, education, healthcare, government facilities, and interior design. In 1999, Penney led all of the firm’s mergers—with TBA2 Architects of Charlotte, N.C., in 1999; with Boney Architects of Wilmington and Raleigh, N.C., in 2005; and with Neal Prince Architects of Greenville, S.C., in 2011. LS3P has grown to a highly respected firm with six offices in the Carolinas and consistently recognized by ENR and Architectural Record as a top 5o “Big A” firm.

Some of the firm’s award-winning projects designed by Penney include: Albert Simons Center for the Arts, College of Charleston; Commissioners of Public Works Administrative Office Building, Charleston; (Mead) Westvaco Forest Research Laboratory, Summerville, S.C.; Kiawah Island Resort Sales Office, Island of Kiawah, S.C.; Penney House, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; Battery Creek High School, Beaufort, S.C.; U.S. Navy Enlisted Dining Facility, Kings Bay, Ga.; Pontiac Elementary School, Elgin, S.C.; and the Dorchester County Library, St. George, S.C.


Penney received his AIA Fellowship in 1990, and has been recognized with many awards and honors for his design as well as for his leadership and service to the profession, including:

  • Tau Sigma Delta Award for Design and Academic Excellence, 1970
  • Rudolph E. Lee Award for Architecture, Clemson University, 1971
  • Tau Sigma Delta Bronze Medal for Architecture, Clemson University, 1972
  • AIA National School Medal for Design Excellence, Clemson University, 1974
  • Third Place, National Student Competition on Correctional Architecture, 1974
  • Architect of the Year, Charleston Contractors Association, 1995
  • Dean’s Award, Clemson University School of Architecture, 1997
  • Distinguished Service Award, Clemson University, 1998
  • President’s Medal, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 2003
  • Honorary member, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 2003
  • Honorary fellow, Korean Institute of Architects, 2003
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Australian Institute of Architects, 2003
  • Honorary member, Japan Institute of Architects, 2004

At the conclusion of Penney’s presidency, the AIA, through the Board of Directors, presented him with a citation for exceptional service, which read: “Leaders invest the capital of their hearts and minds to build the equity of community; like great symphony conductors, they lead by turning their backs on the crowd. They insist not on being served, but on serving others by helping them discover within their own hearts the poetry of a compelling dream. Leaders face dangers; they take risks, their greatest fear not being failure, but that they do no harm. They are their own strictest taskmasters and are quick to delegate joyfully to others the rewards of their long hours and hard work. In all these things, he has been a proof of a great leader, a role model for architects everywhere; and in his community, a trusted advisor and visionary among men.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Katherine Lee Schwennsen, FAIA

Des Moines, Iowa

Term of Office: December 2005–December 2006

Katherine Lee (Kate) Schwennsen was born on January 24, 1957, in Dubuque, Iowa, to Terry and Marilee Schwennsen. Her parents assured their four daughters that they could be anything they wanted to be, and that they should set and achieve meaningful goals. Schwennsen decided at the age of 10 that she wanted to be an architect, probably influenced by the wonderful Victorian-era and Prairie Style architecture in and around her hometown, and by the buildings she saw during wide-ranging family vacations. She graduated from Dubuque High School in 1974 and then attended Iowa State University in Ames, where she obtained a B.A. in architecture in 1978. She then continued on at Iowa State and received an M.Arch degree in 1980.

Schwennsen met her husband, Barry Jones, AIA, while working at Engelbrecht & Griffin Architects, and they were married on May 26, 1984. Jones was executive vice president of EGA Architects. They lived in Des Moines where they raised two daughters, Megan and Anna, both also Iowa State graduates, Megan in interior design and Anna in architecture. Schwennsen’s professional service extended beyond the AIA. She provided leadership and service to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, chairing the Education Committee and Certification through Licensure Task Force, among others. She was a member of the Iowa Board of Architectural Examiners for nine years, and the South Carolina Board of Architectural Examiners. In addition to her active professional career, Schwennsen applied her professional skills to serve the city of Des Moines in a variety of ways, including as a member or chair of the Design Advisory Team of the Iowa Vision Panel, 1991–92; Planning and Zoning Commission Gateway Task Force; and the Architectural Advisory Committee.


Schwennsen joined AIA in 1988 and became involved in the AIA Iowa chapter. After serving on numerous committees and chairing several AIA Iowa activities, she became secretary in 1993–94, followed by second vice president and president-elect. She then was elected president for 1997. Her service to the AIA continued at the national level when she became chair of the Advisory Group for Educators and Practitioners Network, a member of the AIA Gold Medal/Firm Award Advisory Jury, and a member of the NAAB Task Force to Revise Accreditation Criteria.

She was elected by the Central States Region to the AIA Board of Directors for 1999–2002. During her term, Schwennsen was a member of the AIAS Studio Culture Task Force, AIA Mentorship Task Force, and Architectural Record Editorial Advisory Committee. She chaired the juries for the AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion and the AIA Education Honors Awards, and was one of the four authors of “The Redesign of Studio Culture,” an important AIAS-sponsored critique and celebration of studio culture. She also served as a member of the Board of Regents of the American Architectural Foundation. Following her board service, she was elected as an AIA vice president for 2003.

At the 2004 AIA convention in Chicago, Schwennsen was elected first vice president/president-elect for 2005. In her campaign for the office, she professed her strong dedication to the next generation of architects. As president-elect, she was a delegate to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperative Architect Project in Tokyo and a member of the AIA delegation to the UIA General Assembly in Istanbul.

Schwennsen was inaugurated as the Institute’s 82nd president on December 8, 2005, at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, a structure designed by former AIA President Daniel Burnham. She became the second female, and one of only a few full-time educators, to serve as president. In her inaugural speech, she compared her vision for the next generation of AIA with the traditions of the people in her home state: “The heritage of Iowa as I know it, learned it, and live it, is the ethical imperative to leave the place better than you found it. This value, along with other equally ingrained values—including making do with little, working hard for the simple reward of hard work, being progressive and pragmatic, and speaking plainly and directly—are of the Iowa soil. These values sustain me and will root all of my actions as AIA president.”

At Accent on Architecture in February 2006, Schwennsen presented the AIA Gold Medal to Antoine Predock, FAIA, and the Architecture Firm Award to Moore Ruble Yudell Architects. Thorncrown Chapel received the Twenty-five Year Award. Mary Elizabeth “Gus” Jones accepted the award on behalf of her deceased husband, AIA Gold Medalist E. Fay Jones, FAIA.

Schwennsen presided at the 2006 AIA convention in Los Angeles with the theme of “On the Edge: Innovation, Engagement, Inspiration.” At the convention, she presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to James D. Tittle, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Theodore C. Landsmark, Assoc. AIA; and the Topaz Medallion to William G. McMinn, FAIA.

In one of her convention speeches, she spoke of four significant trends shaping the direction of the profession: globalization, technological revolution, recognition that design matters, and rededication to environmental responsibility: “As the world flattens, we have started to better understand and engage its environmental limits and our impact on its ecology. Surely, the health of the world to come is dependent on our stewardship of this globe. Although all of the world’s inhabitants share responsibility for the future of the planet, the design and construction industry needs to be a leader in navigating us to a better, more sustainable, and equitable world.”

During Schwennsen’s presidency, the Institute was actively involved in planning for its sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary in 2007. Schwennsen had served on the AIA150 Executive Committee since 2005 and continued in that capacity during her term as president. Also during her year as president, she represented the AIA in the signing of accords on Professionalism in Architecture with the Korean Institute of Architects, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and Colegio de Arquitectos de Costa Rica, and she was a signatory on a memorandum of understanding between the AIA and the Architects Regional Council of Asia. She also served as a delegate to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative Architect Project in Mexico City.

Following her presidency, Schwennsen continued serving the AIA as chair of the AIA Iowa Annual Convention, co-chair of the Joint Committee of AIA and the Associated General Contractors of America, co-chair of the AIA Long Range Planning Committee, and on the Executive Committee of AIA150. She represented Region III on the Education Commission of the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the UNESCO/UIA Validation Commission, was a member of the AIA delegation to Tokyo in 2011, and served as the Education and Validation Commissions’ co-chair for the 2011–2014 triennium.


After receiving her M.Arch from Iowa State, Schwennsen began her career as an intern with Engelbrecht & Griffin Architects in Des Moines and remained with that firm for eight years, becoming a project manager and project architect. She was responsible for the design and management of several retirement communities, including La Posada at Park Centre in Green Valley, Ariz., which received an AIA/AAHA Award for Design Distinction. Later, as a senior project architect at Bloodgood Architects and Planners, she was involved in the design of single and multifamily housing.

In 1990, her interest in teaching and education led her to return to her alma mater, Iowa State. She worked her way up the faculty ranks, gaining tenure and the rank of full professor. For 10 years she served as the dean for Academic Programs in the College of Design, a position in which she was responsible for overseeing curriculum, strategic planning, and budgeting. She led the creation of the college’s Core Design Program, an innovative first-year program shared across all of the undergraduate degree programs of the college.

In 2010, Schwennsen became chair of the School of Architecture, Clemson University. Through her teaching and administrative duties, she focused on bridging architectural education and practice, moving both forward, providing leadership and publications on issues of diversity, design leadership, women’s leadership and design practice in a hot, flat, crowded 21st century.


Schwennsen’s outstanding service to the Institute and the profession has been recognized with numerous honors, including:

  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 2001
  • Presidential Medal for Distinguished Service, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, 2002
  • Outstanding Innovations Award for Contributions to Iowa State Learning Communities, Iowa State University, 2003
  • Medal of Honor, AIA Iowa, 2003
  • Honorary Senior Fellow, Design Futures Council, 2005
  • Governor’s Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to State of Iowa, Governor Thomas J. Vilsack, 2006
  • Design Achievement Award, College of Design, Iowa State University, 2006
  • Honorary member, Royal Australian Institute of Architects, 2006
  • Honorary member, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 2006
  • Honorary fellow, Korean Institute of Architects, 2006
  • Honorary member, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 2006
  • Honorary member, Japan Institute of Architects, 2007
  • Education Award, AIA Iowa, 2009

At the conclusion of her term of office as AIA president, Schwennsen was presented a citation, which read: “Inspirational educator and architect, she embodied in every action as President the missions of both professions to stretch the human imagination by embracing change and nourishing in others an unflagging belief that as stewards of the future, we do have the power to make a difference in the world we prepare for our children if we commit to lives of service. By putting the needs of others first, through patient listening, collaboration, and a genius for building trust, she modeled a style of leadership based not on power, but shared goals, common purpose, and an invigorating sense of what makes the human spirit vital and strong.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA


Term of Office: December 1999–December 2000

Ronald Skaggs was born on November 7, 1942, in Dallas to Lloyd and Willye Velle Skaggs. He was raised in Dallas and attended schools there. He had a great deal of interest in music during his school years, playing saxophone and clarinet in various orchestras and dance bands. Early in his teens, after reading a series of articles on Frank Lloyd Wright in Life magazine, he determined that he wanted to be an architect. After graduating from Justin F. Kimball High School, he enrolled in Texas A&M University’s architecture school, where he obtained a B.Arch degree in 1966 and an M.Arch degree in 1967. At A&M, Skaggs was a member of the Corps of Cadets and upon graduation was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. Through his undergraduate and graduate years at A&M he performed as lead sax with the Aggieland Orchestra.

Skaggs began his military assignment as a project officer in the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General, responsible for programming and designing military hospitals. Following his military commitment, he obtained employment with CRS Design Associates in Houston, where he specialized in healthcare design, then joined Harwood K. Smith and Partners (HKS) in late 1972. Skaggs has been with HKS ever since, rising to chairman and chief executive officer, and leading the firm to international recognition.

Skaggs married Sondra Lannette in 1965. They have three sons—David, Stephen, and Jeffrey—and three grandchildren. Skaggs’s hobbies include his family, music, and collecting art and architecture books. He is active in his church and is an avid Texas A&M football fan.

Skaggs has served his community in many ways, including:

  • Board member, Texas Area V Health Systems Agency
  • President’s Council, Buckner Benevolences
  • Member, President’s Research Council, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Advisory Board member, Texas A&M Foundation
  • Trustee, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
  • Trustee, Dallas Baptist University
  • Chairman, President’s Board of Visitors, Texas A&M
  • Board member, Missions America
  • Advisory Council, Charles Pankow Foundation
  • Vice chair, One Spirit One Vision Campaign, Texas A&M
  • Vision 2020 Task Force, Texas A&M
  • Chancellor’s 21st Century Council of Advisors, Texas A&M
  • Executive Committee President’s Council of Advisors, Texas A&M


Skaggs joined the AIA as an associate in 1968 while in the military; in 1970, he became a full member, active in the Dallas chapter. After serving on numerous committees and in a variety of officer positions, he became president of AIA Dallas in 1994. He then served on the Texas Society of Architects Executive Committee from 1995 to 1997. He also served as an Advisory Trustee on the Texas Architects Committee from 1989–93 and on the Texas Architectural Foundation Board of Directors from 2007–10.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Skaggs dedicated a great deal of his AIA service to the Academy of Architecture for Health, including serving as its president, chairing the Agency Affairs and Practice subcommittees, and being active on the Steering Committee and the Health Care Reform and Long-Range Goals task forces.

Skaggs was elected to the AIA Board of Directors representing the Texas Society of Architects for 1995–97. During his tenure on the AIA board, he served as chair of the Government Affairs Advisory Committee; chair of ArchiPac; and as board liaison to AIAS, participating as a member of its board of directors.

He was then elected an Institute vice president for 1998, and at the convention in San Francisco in 1998 Skaggs was elected first vice president/president-elect for 1999. He was inaugurated as the Institute’s 76th president at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C., in December 1999.

During his presidency, Skaggs emphasized three priorities: profession leadership, a more seamless transition from student to architect, and livable communities. He spoke at numerous international architecture conferences, including the International Conference of Diplomacy Through Architecture in Copenhagen.

At the Accent on Architecture gala, held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., Skaggs presented the AIA Gold Medal to Ricardo Legorreta, Hon. FAIA, and the Architecture Firm Award to Gensler.

Skaggs presided at the 2000 convention in Philadelphia, which was marked by three outstanding keynote speakers: former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young; subsequent Pritzker Laureate Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA; and future AIA Gold Medalist Michael Graves, FAIA. Also at the convention, Skaggs awarded the Edward C. Kemper Award to James A. Scheeler, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to Louis L. Weller, FAIA; and the Topaz Medallion to Alan H. Balfour. The convention’s Legacy Project provided assistance to the Architecture and Design Charter High School of Philadelphia.

In 2006–07, Skaggs focused his AIA service on the Institute’s 150th anniversary as co-chair of the AIA150 Capital Campaign and a member of the AIA150 Oversight Task Group. He served as vice chancellor of the College of Fellows in 2012 and is scheduled to be chancellor in 2013.


After serving in the U.S. Army, Skaggs joined CRS Design Associates in Houston in 1970, specializing in healthcare design. In late 1972, he joined HKS to develop a healthcare design practice in that firm. He has led the design of more than 700 healthcare projects, with more than 150 of them receiving design awards. As his leadership and management abilities were recognized by HKS, he became an associate, vice president, executive vice president, and, in 1988, was appointed chairman and CEO.

Under Skaggs’s leadership, HKS grew to a 1,300-employee firm emphasizing healthcare, corporate, commercial, hospitality, government, educational, entertainment, and sports design. In addition to architecture, the firm also provides urban planning, interior design, graphic design, visualization, and structural engineering services. Some of Skaggs’ projects include the Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem; Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio; George Washington University Hospital, Washington, D.C.; Pali Momi Medical Center, Honolulu; Children’s Hospital, Hartford, Conn.; M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas; Baptist Health Center, Miami; Texas History Museum, Austin; and the Texas A&M Foundation Building, College Station.

Skaggs has written numerous magazine articles on healthcare design. Monographs to which he has contributed include Architecture for Healing, Building Type Basics for Healthcare Facilities, The Architecture of Healing, Long-Term Care and Administration Handbook, and The Business of Architecture. In addition, he has served as an adjunct professor at Texas A&M and associate practicum professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Skaggs has served the profession in many capacities. He served on the board of the Forum for Healthcare Planning from 1982 to 1992 and was its president in 1992. He was a board member on the National Architectural Accrediting Board from 2002 to 2005 and chaired numerous NAAB team visits. During 2005–06, he was a member of the Construction Advisory Board for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has also served as a board member and chairman of the National Institute of Building Sciences and on the board of the Construction Industry Roundtable. He has served as a regent of the American Architectural Foundation since 1989 and as a member of the AAF Executive Committee, from 2003–2009 serving as AAF treasurer.


In addition to his Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects (1986), Skaggs is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Architects and the Health Facilities Institute, and an honorary fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (2000). He is a member of honor and recipient of the President’s Medal of the Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana and an honorary member of the Japan Institute of Architects (2000). Skaggs has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus of Texas A&M University and an outstanding alumnus of the College of Architecture; received the Silver Medal of Tau Sigma Delta Professional Honor Society; and received the SIR Award of the Associated General Contractors of America. In addition, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award of AIA Dallas (2006); an Individual Achievement Award of the Symposium for Health Design (2006); the Llewellyn W. Pitts Lifetime Achievement Award of the Texas Society of Architects (2007); and the Lifetime Achievement Award, Hamilton Medal, American College of Healthcare Architects (2007). He was inducted into the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor in 2011.

As Skaggs concluded his term as president, the AIA Board of Directors presented him with a citation, which read in part: “A man who seamlessly marries the precision of an organized mind with a deep faith and integrity, the breadth of his influence has touched people from all walks for life—those who recognize him as a national leader in the field of health care, those who he met in his capacity as the chosen representative of America’s architects at home and abroad, and most importantly, those who have heard his compassion and profound sense of mission, a mission ever conveyed in the language of deep humility and boundless joy.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Michael J. Stanton, FAIA

San Francisco

Term of Office: December 1998–December 1999

Michael Stanton was born in Baltimore on January 29, 1948, the first of three children of Joseph Louis Stanton and Mary Victorine Wolstoncroft. Stanton’s grandparents were Irish immigrants. His father, raised in the steel mill communities of the Ohio River Valley, was the first of his family to attend college. Stanton’s mother was the daughter of a well-to-do Pennsylvania banker whose ancestry could be traced back to French Huguenots who had come to America at the time of the Revolutionary War. After both of Stanton’s parents served in World War II, they settled in Baltimore to raise their family.

Stanton attended the Baltimore Academy of the Visitation, a Roman Catholic grade school, and the Gilman School, a private all-boys college preparatory school. Gilman offered a mechanical drawing class at which Stanton excelled. During this time, he developed a strong passion for lacrosse and was selected for the All-Maryland team. After high school, Stanton entered Wesleyan University as a geology major. He subsequently transferred to Yale, in search of a larger university that offered an architecture program. There, Stanton majored in urban studies and played lacrosse; he was selected as All–Ivy League, All–New England, and honorable mention All-American in 1969 and 1970. After graduation, he entered the Yale School of Architecture and received his M.Arch degree in 1973.

After a brief stint with Daniel Mann Johnson Mendenhall (DMJM) in Baltimore, Stanton moved to Toronto for a position with an architecture firm before heading west to San Francisco in 1975. While working in San Francisco, he resumed his lacrosse career, spending seven all-star years with the San Francisco Lacrosse Club. His cumulative athletic accomplishments were acknowledged in 2013 when he was elected to the California Chapter of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame. In 1982 Stanton met his future wife, Maureen Susan Barry, quit his job, and traveled with her throughout eastern Asia. The Stantons returned to San Francisco the following year. After receiving an architectural commission, Stanton launched his practice.

The Stantons have two daughters, Abby and Brenna. Maureen Stanton is the communications director for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. In his spare time, Stanton enjoys family activities, sketching and watercolor painting, and canoeing.

Stanton has served his profession and community in many ways, including:

  • Board of Trustees, Association for Retarded Citizens of Northern California
  • Board of Trustees, San Francisco Performing Arts Museum
  • Member, Dean’s Advisory Board, School of Business, University of San Francisco


Stanton joined AIA in 1975. He wrote for the Bay Architect’s Review, AIA San Francisco’s newsletter, and the chapter subsequently named him chair of the editorial board, a position he held for many years.

In the mid-1980s, Stanton was elected to the chapter’s board of directors and chaired its Urban Design Committee. Under his leadership, that committee prepared the highly influential Embarcadero Corridor Study, which received the Citation for Excellence in Urban Design from the national AIA in 1988. Stanton was elected president of the San Francisco Chapter for 1987.

Stanton also maintained active participation in the AIA California Council (AIACC). In 1989, he was a member of the AIA/AIACC Armenian Design Assistance Task Force, which proposed ways to rebuild Spitak, Armenia, after the devastating earthquake of December 1988. He chaired AIACC’s Task Force on Managing California’s Growth and was vice president for government affairs. He served as president of AIACC in 1991.

Following his AIACC presidency, Stanton was elected one of California’s directors to the AIA Board for 1993–95. He served as an AIA vice president in 1996, and at the 1997 convention in New Orleans was elected first vice president/president-elect. He was inaugurated in December 1998 as the Institute’s 75th president at the newly completed World Bank Headquarters in Washington, D.C., designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

Early in 1999, Vice President Al Gore made an appearance at the AIA headquarters, meeting with Stanton and other AIA leaders to discuss the environment and global warming. This significant event highlighted Stanton’s 1999 focus on helping to make architects the undisputed leaders in design of sustainable buildings and communities.

In March 1999, Stanton signed the first agreement between the AIA and the Architects Council of Europe, the culmination of efforts by 1998 AIA President Ronald Arthur Altoon, FAIA, and Thomas Vonier, FAIA, of AIA Continental Europe. Stanton also led the AIA delegation to the 1999 UIA Congress and Assembly in Beijing, where the UIA adopted an accord on professional practice that had been jointly proposed by AIA and the Architectural Society of China.

At the 1999 Accent on Architecture gala, Stanton presented the AIA Gold Medal to Frank Gehry, FAIA, and the Architecture Firm Award to Perkins+Will. At the 1999 convention in Dallas, Stanton presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to James R. Franklin, FAIA; the Whitney Young Jr. Award to Charles McAfee, FAIA; and the Topaz Medallion to W. Cecil Steward, FAIA.

After his presidency, Stanton served a three-year term (2000–2002) on the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Subsequently, he has chaired many accreditation visits to architecture schools around the country, and continues to participate in workshops and visitations. He also was a member of the AIA delegation to the 2002 UIA Congress and Assembly in Berlin. In 2003, Stanton delivered keynote addresses on international themes to the conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Administrators and the Second Hemisphere Meeting of Architecture Deans and Program Heads in Panama City, Panama. He also was a featured speaker at the 2007 GSA National Forum on design excellence in federal courthouses and has served as a GSA design excellence peer reviewer.


After graduating from the Yale School of Architecture, Stanton returned to his hometown of Baltimore and obtained his first architectural position with DMJM, where he worked on planning a new subway system for the city. He then moved to Toronto to work with Brook Carruthers Shaw on Sheridan Community College. Unable to renew his Canadian employment visa, he headed west and ended up in San Francisco in early 1976. He obtained employment with Bull Field Volkmann Stockwell (BFVS), where he stayed for six and a half years, becoming a senior associate. Projects he worked on at BFVS included the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif., a recipient of a national AIA Design Award; a residential infill project on the Hyde Street cable car route near the crest of San Francisco’s Russian Hill; and the Mount Curve Place Townhouses in Minneapolis.

In 1982, Stanton and his wife traveled through Asia. On their return to San Francisco in early 1983, he found a client and launched Michael Stanton Architecture. His diverse client base covers a variety of architecture and urban design projects. Among the firm’s eclectic projects are the Fillmore Community Services Building, St. Paul’s Elementary School, Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel, Potter Electric Company headquarters, San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, and renovations to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, all in San Francisco.

Stanton Architecture is also heavily involved in historic preservation and adaptive use of older structures. This work includes the conversion of a national landmark, the General Post Office in Washington, D.C., into the Monaco Hotel, which received four national design awards; the renovation of the historic Saint Paul’s Catholic Church, San Francisco; and the conversion of a former military aircraft hangar at San Francisco’s Crissy Field into the La Petite Baleen Swim School, also the recipient of several significant awards.

Stanton’s firm is also involved in resort planning in the Caribbean. The firm’s international work includes projects in Belize, Czech Republic, Thailand, the Philippines, American Samoa, and Honduras.


A fellow of the AIA since 1991, Stanton was made an honorary fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1999. He also has honorary memberships in the Royal Association of Siamese Architects under the King (Thailand, 1994), Japan Institute of Architects (2000), Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana (2001), and Bulgarian Chamber of Architects (2010). In 2010 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Council of the AIA.

As Stanton concluded his AIA presidency at the 1999 December Board of Directors meeting, the following citation was conferred on him for his service as president: “Vigorous of mind, body and spirit, he challenged his peers and colleagues, both in this country and abroad, to stretch toward a more profound and effective commitment to be leaders in defining what it means to be stewards of this planet’s precious resources. Inspiring and directing one of the most visionary and transformational chapters of the history of the American Institute of Architects, he charted his course by the stars, hauled in the anchor, and guided the AIA forward on a great voyage of discovery into the twenty-first century.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

RK Stewart, FAIA

San Francisco

Term of Office: December 2006–December 2007

RK Stewart was born in St. Louis on August 16, 1952. He grew up in St. Louis and graduated from Lindbergh High School in 1970. His love of architecture was nourished by frequent train trips to Chicago with his grandfather, a Cotton Belt Railroad executive who traveled there monthly. After high school, he attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence and received a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree. He completed his architectural education at the University of Michigan, receiving a M.Arch degree in 1975.

Stewart taught at Louisiana State University and Mississippi State University, and then worked for architecture firms in Wyoming, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., before moving to San Francisco in 1985.

In addition to his professional practice and AIA service, Stewart has been involved in many other organizations and activities, including:

    • San Francisco Planning and Urban Research, 1987–present

    • Member, Airports Council International Access Task Force, 1992–93

    • Board of Directors, International Alliance for Interoperability, 1998–2001

    • California Board of Architectural Examiners: Post-Licensure Competency Task Force, 1999– ; Professional Qualifications Committee, 1997– ; Task Analysis Committee/Oral Exam, 1996; C-IDP Task Force Chair, 2002; C-IDP Implementation Task Force, 2003–04

    • Member, Mayor’s Access Policy Advisory Group, City and County of San Francisco, 1994–95

    • San Francisco Department of Building Inspection: Member, Technical Advisory Committee, 1993–2002; member, Disabled Access Advisory Task Force, 1995–2002; member, Code Enforcement Task Force, 1994

    Board of Directors, National Institute of Building Sciences, 2008–14, Board Chair 2012–13

When not working, Stewart dreams of ski slopes, bicycle road and trail rides, and golf courses for when he is able to find time away from his busy practice and his public and AIA service.


Stewart joined the AIA in 1983 and was a member of AIA Chicago. In 1985, he became active in the San Francisco chapter. He chaired the Urban Design and Advocacy Committees, was a member of the board of directors, and served as vice president for 1995 and president for 1996.

With the AIA California Council, he served as vice president, president-elect, and was president in 2000. Stewart’s fellowship nomination mentioned his service to the AIA California Council: “During Stewart’s AIACC leadership, he has been an exceptionally effective proponent of a state-level ‘livable communities’ agenda. Through his active participation on the AIACC’s urban design committee, he has moved the Council’s interest in urban design as a political issue to the forefront, and generated international interest in California’s unique growth issues through the development of an ‘ideas’ competition, creating opportunities for AIA members to contribute their unique professional talents and expertise to the urban planning dialogue, which will have a direct and positive impact on the people of California.”

At the national level, he served on the National Accessibility Task Force and the Building Codes and Standards Committee. In 2001, the California Council elected him to a three-year term on the AIA Board of Directors. He then was elected to two terms as a vice president. At the 2005 convention in Las Vegas, Stewart was elected first vice president/president-elect. He was inaugurated on December 8, 2006, as the Institute’s 83rd president at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

In his inaugural address he commented on the AIA’s sesquicentennial saying, “Standing tonight on the threshold of the AIA’s 150th anniversary, I am aware of how much we have inherited from the seven generations of architects who have come before. As we celebrate their efforts in 2007, I am acutely aware that their challenge to us is to build on their legacy, and in so doing lay the foundation for the next 150 years.” He went on to say, “I believe those 13 gentlemen who signed the papers of incorporation on April 13th would be stunned to see the results of what they began. They set in motion forces that literally transformed the profession.”

At the Accent on Architecture gala in February 2007, Stewart noted that the Institute was celebrating its sesquicentennial year as well as the 100th anniversary of the initiation of the AIA Gold Medal. He presented the Gold Medal posthumously to Edward Larrabee Barnes, FAIA; it was accepted by his widow, Mary Barnes, and his son John. He also presented the AIA Architecture Firm Award to Leers Weinzapfel Associates and the AIA Twenty-five Year Award to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which Maya Lin designed in association with Cooper-Lecky Architects.

AIA150 was a major thrust in 2007. The flagship program, Blueprint for America, provided grants to local chapters to help fund design-oriented community service programs. Other initiatives included an exhibition of 150 of America’s most beloved structures, identified in a national poll of architects and the public; funding for architecture scholarships and research; and allocating funds to the American Architectural Foundation for needed maintenance of the Octagon and the AAF’s education and outreach initiatives. One of AIA150’s special events was a grand celebration on the date of the official founding of the AIA at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York, the site where the founding members gathered after filing the incorporation papers at a New York courthouse on April 13, 1857.

Stewart presided at the 2007 AIA convention in San Antonio with the theme “Growing Beyond Green.” At the opening session, he said, “Future generations will judge whether we have been worthy ancestors. How each of us chooses to act, the big and small things we do each day, will change the world. I know what I intend to do. What will be your choice?”

At the convention, Stewart presented the Edward C. Kemper Award to R. Randall Vosbeck, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to the National Organization of Minority Architects; and the AIA/ACSA Topaz Medallion to Lance Jay Brown, FAIA.

AIA California Council recalled him to serve as chair of its Long Range Planning Committee in 2011 and 2012.


After receiving his master’s degree, Stewart taught for three years at Louisiana State University and Mississippi State University. He then took a position with Malone Iverson Architects in Sheridan, Wyo., before joining Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s Chicago office. After five years in Chicago, he was offered the position of director of computer operations in SOM’s Washington, D.C., office, where he stayed for two years before heading west to San Francisco.

In San Francisco, Stewart worked for Heller Leake (now Heller Manus) Architects before joining Gensler in 1988. With Gensler, he was a principal and member of the Management Committee. As the director of architectural project teams, he guided multidisciplinary teams in new and historic renovation projects. He served as chair of Gensler’s Technical Steering Committee and produced the firm’s Production Manual to guide the preparation of construction documents.

Projects he has directed include Electronics for Imaging (five buildings), Foster City, Calif.; Jewish Community Center, San Francisco; master plan for a renovation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin County Civic Center; renovation of the Embarcadero YMCA, San Francisco; California Culinary Academy, San Francisco; residence hall for Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, Calif.; and restoration of the Geary Theater, San Francisco, originally designed in 1909 by the firm of William Faville, the 19th president of the AIA. The restoration project won several design awards.

Stewart is an author, frequent speaker, and seminar leader on the Americans with Disabilities Act, sustainable design, and management and practice issues affecting the profession.

Stewart joined Perkins + Will, San Francisco, in early 2008 as an associate principal and market segment leader for its corporate, civic, and commercial practice. Shifting roles, he now is a strategic resource promoting integrated project delivery, productivity, profitability, and sustainable design firmwide.

Returning to teaching, Stewart is an adjunct faculty member in the University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning. The New Building Institute named Stewart a senior fellow to assist in development of a policy toolkit for use by state and local governments to advance the design and construction of net zero energy buildings.


Stewart received his AIA Fellowship in 2001. He is also an honorary member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and an honorary fellow of the Japanese Institute of Architects. He is a senior fellow of the Design Futures Council and received the Octavius Morgan Award from the California Architects Board.

At the conclusion of his presidency, the AIA board presented Stewart with a citation that read, in part: “A voice for principled continuity and transformational change, he embodied the bedrock of core values that over 150 years has delivered a legacy of service to the AIA members and to the society the profession serves. Inspired by the achievement of the past, he had the vision to advocate for a more diverse profession,
a profession committed to mentoring young architects, a profession unafraid to engage in the shaping of public policy, and a profession ready to take on the greatest challenge of the time, climate change. Carrying sustainability’s banner here and abroad, he won for architects greater recognition of the profession’s role as stewards of humanity’s dreams and the healing of our home, planet Earth.”

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

R. Randall Vosbeck, FAIA

Alexandria, Virginia (now living in Highlands Ranch, Colorado)

Term of Office: December 1980–December 1981

R. Randall “Randy” Vosbeck was born in Mankato, Minnesota, on May 18, 1930, the son of William F. Vosbeck and Gladys Anderson Vosbeck. He attended public schools in Mankato, graduating from high school in 1948. Two summers of working for a construction contractor helped convince him to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Bill and pursue architecture, so after high school he entered the University of Minnesota School of Architecture.

His mother had died when he was 10 years old, and his father died when Vosbeck was 19 and a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. His father’s death had a significant impact on him. He immersed himself in many university extracurricular activities, worked part-time at various jobs, including an architecture firm, and occasionally lightened his academic load.

He graduated in March 1954 and that summer joined the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant. As his Marine Corps service was coming to an end, he accepted a job with a firm in Alexandria, Va., and started work in the fall of 1956.

Vosbeck married his high school sweetheart, Phoebe Macklin, on June 21, 1953, while he was still in architecture school. Her support and encouragement were critical to his completion of his architecture degree. They raised their four children—Gretchen, Randy Jr., Heidi, and Macklin—in Alexandria and have six grandchildren.

Vosbeck served many Washington, D.C., area organizations, and he was appointed to several important public positions related to architecture, including:

  • President, Alexandria, Va., Jaycees, 1960–61
  • Vice president, Virginia Jaycees, 1961–62
  • President, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, 1974
  • President, Alexandria Unit, American Cancer Society, 1963–65
  • Member, Region 3 GSA Public Advisory Committee on Architectural and Engineering Services, ca. 1964–69
  • Member, GSA Blue Ribbon Committee on A/E Selection, ca. 1973
  • Member, National Capital Planning Commission, 1976–80 (appointed by President Gerald Ford)
  • Architect member, National Park System Advisory Board, 1984–88 (appointed by Secretary of the Interior Donald Hodel)
  • Member, Board of Governors, Washington Building Congress, 1989–93

In 1994, Vosbeck retired from active practice and relocated to Vail, Colo., where he and his wife enjoyed skiing, hiking, and the change in lifestyle from the Washington, D.C. area. Skiing is still very much a part of the Vosbeck family, and their children and grandchildren loved to visit Vail. In 2008, Vosbeck and his wife, after 14 wonderful years living in Vail, moved into a retirement community in Highlands Ranch, Colo. The Vosbecks also enjoy spending summers at a lake home in northern Minnesota, where their children and grandchildren also love to visit.


Vosbeck joined the Northern Virginia Section of the Metropolitan D.C. chapter of the AIA shortly after his Marine Corps service. Later, while serving on the Northern Virginia Section Board, the section became a chapter and the Virginia chapter became the Virginia Society in 1975. Vosbeck thus became a charter member of the Northern Virginia AIA Chapter.

Vosbeck became active in the national organization, serving on the Committee of Architecture for Education and participating in various government affairs activities. At the Middle Atlantic Region meeting at the 1975 national convention in Atlanta, Vosbeck was elected to the AIA Board of Directors and served from 1976 through 1978. While on the board, he was active in government affairs, serving as chair of the Government Affairs Commission in 1978. He frequently represented the AIA before congressional committees and federal agencies.

Vosbeck’s service on the board was followed by his election as vice president for 1979. At the 1979 convention in Kansas City, Vosbeck was elected first vice president/president-elect for 1980. He was inaugurated in December 1980 as the 57th president of the AIA. The Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps performed at the inauguration festivities.

Upon taking office as AIA president, Vosbeck vowed to work toward greater cooperation with other construction industry organizations. An article in Engineering News-Record, published at the outset of his presidency, highlighted his commitment to this goal: “Without a question, AIA is the most liberal of all construction, trade, and engineering organizations. ‘We have more of a social conscience,’ acknowledged Vosbeck. ‘We are more concerned about the environment, and we view with a different perspective what is happening in our cities.’ Marching to a different drumbeat has long been AIA’s trademark....Vosbeck intends to lead the Institute toward greater cooperation with other design and construction organizations. ‘We have more in common than we have in dispute,’ he says.”

Vosbeck also led the AIA’s strong active support for Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS). The same ENR article stated, “Vosbeck’s already well-honed interest in energy efficiency in the built environment came into sharper focus through his congressional testimony, and it is unlikely that BEPS would have won legislative approval without Vosbeck’s and AIA’s vigorous support.”

With a conviction that architects must show more concern about energy in the built environment, Vosbeck designated the AIA theme for 1981 as “A Line on Design and Energy.” This focus on how thoughtful quality design can reduce energy consumption was conveyed nationally through a public awareness campaign and the implementation of a comprehensive professional development program, Energy in Architecture, which reached architects, members of allied professions, businesses, and the public.

The 1981 convention, held in Minneapolis, featured speakers and programs focused on energy in the built environment. At the convention, Vosbeck presented the AIA Gold Medal to Joseph Lluis Sert, FAIA. A highlight of the convention was a Gold Medalist panel discussion on design and energy with Sert and former Gold Medalists I. M. Pei, FAIA, and R. Buckminster (Bucky) Fuller, FAIA, which was moderated by Vosbeck. Also at the convention, Vosbeck presented the Architecture Firm Award to Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates; the Edward C. Kemper Award to Robert L. Durham, FAIA; and the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to his University of Minnesota classmate Robert T. Coles, FAIA. Earlier in the year, Vosbeck presented the Topaz Medallion jointly with ACSA president Richard Peters, FAIA, to Marcel Breuer, FAIA, at the ACSA annual meeting at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, Calif. Edward Larabee Barnes, FAIA, accepted the award for Breuer.

Vosbeck led the AIA delegation to the XIV UIA Congress in Warsaw, Poland, June 15–21, 1981, followed by the UIA General Assembly in Katowice, Poland. His address to the Congress, titled “A Declaration of Energy Independence,” stressed that architects around the world “have a major responsibility in terms of energy-conscious design.”

At the UIA General Assembly in Poland in 1981, Vosbeck was elected to a three-year term on the UIA Council, followed by his reelection in Cairo for an additional three years. While on the UIA Council, Vosbeck chaired a committee to implement a UIA Gold Medal Award and served on the first two juries to select the Gold Medal recipient. In 1986, as his UIA Council term was coming to a close, Vosbeck encouraged the AIA Board to bid to host the 1993 UIA Congress and Assembly in Chicago. The board agreed, and a successful bid was presented by Vosbeck and then–AIA president Donald Hackl, FAIA, at the 1987 UIA Assembly meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

In addition to his UIA service, Vosbeck’s international activities include:

  • Appointed by GSA to the U.S./USSR joint working group on Building Design and Construction Management and chaired the subcommittee on Organization and Technology of Design, 1974–78
  • One of three U.S. architects invited by the Union of Soviet Architects to the World Forum for Peace hosted by Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, 1987
  • Invited speaker and jury member at two Biennales of Architecture in Buenos Aires
  • Invited speaker and jury member at four InterArch Conferences in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Member, Academic Council of the International Academy of Architecture, Sofia, Bulgaria, 1994–2000
  • AIA’s representative to the International Engineering and Construction Industries Council, and elected chairman for 1990–91
  • Jury member, international design competition, National Museum of Korea, 1995–96
  • Author of a UIA-accepted treatise, “Survival of the Architectural Profession in the 21st Century,” for publication in the compendium of papers for the UIA Congress in Beijing, 1999

Vosbeck continued serving the AIA and the profession after his presidency. He served on a special committee of the National Architectural Accrediting Board to rewrite accreditation criteria, chaired the 1983 EVP/CEO selection committee, and chaired the 1991 College of Fellows nominating committee. In recent years, he has served on the Secretaries’ Advisory Committee, the Executive Committee for AIA150, and chaired the committee for the selection of the architect for the renewal of the AIA headquarters building.


In 1956, after his Marine Corps service, Vosbeck joined the firm of Joseph Saunders and Associates in Alexandria, Va., the same firm where his brother, Bill, was employed. His brother and a colleague at the Saunders firm formed a partnership, and Vosbeck joined the newly formed firm, later becoming a principal. In late 1963, the firm split into two entities, and the firm of Vosbeck Vosbeck and Associates was formed. In 1967, the firm merged with the engineering firm of Kendrick and Redinger, forming Vosbeck Vosbeck Kendrick Redinger (VVKR). VVKR grew into one of the largest firms in Virginia and the Washington metropolitan area, and obtained commissions for many building types.

Through the years, some of the firm’s significant government work included the Army Operations Center in the Pentagon, the conversion of the FDR swimming pool into the White House Press Room, the Portico of the West Wing of the White House along with various White House renovation projects, the Conference Center and Cottages at Camp David, Md., and the Norfolk (Va.) Federal Building. In addition, the firm designed the Frank Reeves Center for Municipal Affairs in Washington, D.C., in a joint venture with Robert T. Coles, FAIA, and Devrouax & Purnell.

The firm designed many master planning and building projects for churches and schools throughout Virginia and the Washington area, as well as numerous projects for universities and community colleges throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. VVKR also designed many office buildings in the Washington area, including several national association headquarter facilities.

In addition to its headquarters in Alexandria, the firm had offices in Baltimore, Roanoke, Va., and Norfolk, Va. VVKR received more than 70 design awards from local, state, and national organizations. In 1987, it was the first recipient of the T. David Fitz-Gibbon Architectural Firm Award from the Virginia Society AIA.

In 1983, Suter and Suter, a Swiss architecture and engineering firm, purchased majority interest in VVKR. In 1988, Vosbeck retired from VVKR and joined DMJM, shortly becoming vice president in charge of the Washington, D.C., office. He retired from active practice in 1994 and moved
to Vail.


Vosbeck’s contributions to the AIA, architecture, and his community have been recognized with the following honors:

  • Outstanding Young Man in Alexandria, Va., 1962 (selected by the Alexandria Jaycees)
  • Outstanding Young Man in Virginia, 1963 (selected by the Virginia Jaycees)
  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects, 1978
  • George Washington Leadership Award, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, 1980
  • Honorary Fellowship, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 1981
  • Honorary Academic Diploma, Society of Architects of Mexico, 1982
  • Award of Honor, the highest award of the Northern Virginia chapter, AIA, 1982
  • William C. Noland Award, the highest award of the Virginia Society AIA, 1983
  • Honorary Member, Union of Bulgarian Architects, 1983
  • Member of Honor, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 1984
  • Honorary Member, Society of Architectural Administrators, 1986
  • Member of Honor, the High Council, Colegios de Arquitectos de España, 1987
  • Academician, International Academy of Architecture, 1987
  • Alumni Achievement Award, University of Minnesota College of Architecture, 2001
  • Edward C. Kemper Award, 2007
  • Outstanding Achievement Award (University of Minnesota’s highest alumni award), 2008

Back to top

Description: blackBar-362.gif

Chester A. Widom, FAIA

Los Angeles

Term of Office: December 1994–December 1995

Chester (Chet) Widom was born in Los Angeles on January 14, 1940. His mother and father had both come to California from their home states of Connecticut and Colorado, respectively. He attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, graduating in 1957. He then enrolled at the University of Southern California and received his B.Arch degree in 1962. While at USC, he worked for a number of architects. During those years, he was also a set designer at Warner Bros. studio, where he worked on several films, including Auntie Mame. He also worked on the TV series 77 Sunset Strip. Upon graduation, Widom obtained a position with Jack Allen Charney, AIA, in Beverly Hills. He started his firm as a sole practitioner in 1964.

Widom married Diana in 1983. They have two children from Widom’s previous marriage, Hilary and David, and three grandchildren. Diana is a retired senior vice president of Paramount Pictures.

Widom has a long history of dedication to civic and public endeavors, including:

  • Member, Building and Safety Board, California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development
  • Member, Los Angeles Planning Commission and Design Review Task Force
  • Member, Los Angeles Building and Safety Commission
  • Elected to Charter Reform Commission from the 6th District of Los Angeles (also served as vice chair)
  • Member, Los Angeles Unified School District Primary Center Task Force (chair, Design Committee)
  • Member, Mayor’s Special Advisory Task Force for the Seismic Retrofit of L.A. City Hall
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Southern California Chapter, National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Board of Trustees, Temple Isaiah (chair, Social Action Committee)
  • Member, Board of Governors, Century City Hospital
  • Founder and president, Alternative Living for the Aging (nonprofit)
  • President, Los Angeles Headquarters Association
  • Member, USC School of Architecture Board of Councilors
  • Member, California Hospital Building and Safety Board
  • Member, Los Angeles Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee (Executive Committee)

He is an accomplished tap dancer, and his other pastimes include biking, gardening, reading, and film.


Widom joined the AIA in 1970 and became active in the Los Angeles chapter. In the 1980s, he was a member and chair of numerous committees of the Los Angeles chapter and AIA/California Council, and served as a delegate to the CCAIA Board of Directors from the L.A. chapter. After his active service, he was elected CCAIA vice president for government relations for 1986–87, first vice president for 1988, and CCAIA president in 1989.

During his presidency of CCAIA, Widom stressed strengthening the leadership positions of architects in local and state communities. Through his efforts, California’s political leadership came to view the AIA as an appropriate group with which to discuss the introduction of important legislation and ideas. He also brought the entire construction industry together to participate in the State Task Force on Design and Construction, and he initiated a joint effort to get local jurisdictions to use qualifications-based selection for design professionals. In a fall 1989 board meeting of CCAIA, Widom was selected to represent the California Region on the AIA Board of Directors for a three-year term (1990–92). During his term on the AIA board, he was a member of the Professional Excellence and External Affairs Commissions and served on the Planning and Evaluation committees. He also served as liaison to the Educational Initiative Task Force, Public Affairs Committee, and Documents Futures Task Force.

Following his service on the board, Widom was elected vice president for 1993. At the convention in Chicago in 1993, he was elected first vice president/president-elect for 1994. Reflecting the economic downturn and the concomitant slowdown in the construction industry, Widom said that he wanted the AIA to help architects “stay alive during this transition period.” In December 1994, Widom was inaugurated as the 71st AIA president at the Organization of American States Building in Washington, D.C. A major thrust during Widom’s term of office was to better connect all of the members of the construction industry, which had become adversarial in the 1980s. He worked with the Associated General Contractors of America to publish a “best practices” document for design-build projects. He also led a coalition of AGC, ACEC, and other construction industry organizations in working for legislation to accommodate a variety of project delivery approaches on federal projects. His efforts also led to the AIA’s partnering agreements with the Corps of Engineers, the Veterans Administration, and other federal agencies.

On January 17, 1995, a major earthquake hit Kobe, Japan. Widom had been AIA president only about a month, but because of his background in seismic technologies, he led a team of architects and engineers sponsored by the National Science Foundation to Kobe to study the issues immediately following the event. The team worked with the Japan Institute of Architects and government officials to publish an analysis of seismic design issues, which was presented to a variety of professional and public organizations in the United States.

At the Accent on Architecture gala in 1995, Widom presented the AIA Gold Medal to César Pelli, FAIA, and the Architecture Firm Award to Beyer Blinder Belle. At the 1995 convention in Atlanta, Widom presented the Kemper Award to Paul R. Neel, FAIA; the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award to William J. Stanley III, FAIA; and the Topaz Medallion to Henry N. Cobb, FAIA.

In a speech to the AGC convention in May 1995, Widom said: “We are going through the most significant change in the history of the construction industry. The complexity of our projects is changing the way we operate and the way we deliver projects to our clients. The demands of those clients and users, who are themselves becoming more involved in new technologies, are changing every aspect of the way we design and build buildings. I’m not talking about a cosmetic change adjustment here, a tightening up there, but something far more fundamental...It’s time for a change. I’m not just talking about new forms of project delivery, construction management, and design-build. I’m talking about attitudes, our attitudes about how we think and, most particularly, how we treat and work with one another.”

Widom worked diligently to focus the Institute on its core values and to reduce the staff size accordingly. During his presidency, the number of staff was reduced from 225 to approximately 165. When he left office, the Institute had a $10 million surplus.

Widom has maintained his service to the profession since serving as AIA president. In 2007, he was elected secretary of the College of Fellows for 2008 and became chancellor in 2011.


After receiving his architecture degree from USC in 1962, Widom took a position with Jack Allen Charney, AIA, in Beverly Hills. He became the designer/project manager for Sierra Towers, a 31-story luxury apartment project in Hollywood. In 1964, he started his firm as a sole practitioner. George Wein, AIA, joined him in 1968 and Adrian Cohen in 1977, and the firm became known as Widom Wein Cohen. The firm evolved into WWCOT in 2000 when O’Leary Terasawa Partners was subsumed into the firm. There were three subsequent mergers and at the time of his retirement from the firm, WWCOT had a staff of 185 with offices in Santa Monica, Riverside, Palm Springs, and Modesto in California, and Shanghai. The firm subsequently merged with the DLR Group.

With WWCOT, Widom was responsible for a diverse portfolio of work including a wide range of healthcare projects, K-12 schools, university and community college projects and the Autry National Center of the American West.

Upon his retirement from WWCOT in December 2008, Widom joined the Los Angeles Community College District as the senior architectural advisor for its $6.1 billion construction program. He led the Design Build Competition process which resulted in a variety of Platinum, Gold and Silver LEED projects.

In December 2011, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Widom to the position of California State Architect. Leading the Division of the State Architect, he oversees a staff of 300 and is responsible for design oversight of all public schools and community colleges.


Widom became a Fellow of the AIA in 1990. He has received numerous honors recognizing his service to the profession and community, including:

  • Honorary fellow, Japan Institute of Architects, 1995
  • Honorary fellow, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 1995
  • Member of Honor, La Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Méxicana, 1995
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, USC School of Architecture, 1996
  • Edward Kemper Award, American Institute of Architects, 2011

Back to top


Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy