Reviews were a great success last week! I always enjoy the intellectual and creative intensity of final reviews, especially in the spring when many students are graduating. The energy of students, the insightful perspectives of guest critics, and the dedicated work of faculty and staff made this a great end to the semester and the year. A special thanks to our critics and the staff for going out of their way to make this a wonderful end to the semester. I followed the reviews with a quick trip to the Orlando AIA Convention where Dean Ankerson and I cohosted a table for the College of Architect that the AIA Central States reception. There we visiting with alumni and supporters, sharing the latest news about the college and especially, architecture.
As graduation approaches the AIA Nebraska is graciously hosting a cocktail party for graduating M.Arch students and faculty on Wednesday, May 3 from 4 pm to 6 pm at the AIA office: 335 North 8th Street, Suite A, in the Haymarket. I look forward to joining architecture graduates to celebrate this momentous occasion.
As we bid farewell to Anthony Morey, I am pleased to announce a dual Hyde Chair appointment for the fall semester: Cruz Garcia and Nathalie Frankowski of WAI Architecture Think Tank. You may have encountered Cruz and Nathalie on reviews last week, and I if you did, I hope you are looking forward to their year with us as much as I am. They are working on their courses and between the two of them, they will teach a design research studio and undergraduate studio each semester as well as two Professional Elective seminars each semester. The seminars will be added to the schedule as soon as we have the details.
I conclude by noting that this is my last newsletter report as Architecture Program Director. I have greatly enjoyed working with everyone in the college to develop the Architecture program and I am very pleased with the progress we have made over the last five years. As I prepare to return to the “regular” faculty, I am reflecting on all that has occurred since June 2012 when I began my administrative role. We conceived and built a new, innovative curriculum, we re-focused the program around creative problem solving, projective design-research and future-focused speculation, we expanded and reformed the 3-year M.Arch, we created a new visual identity for the college, we successfully weathered the uncertainties of a proposed college merger, we have grown enrollment, we are rebuilding the faculty after some retirements, and Architecture achieved a very positive outcome from our 2015 re-accreditation. I am sure I am forgetting other accomplishments, but it is clear the faculty, staff, and of course the students have been busy over the past 5 years! I am sure I will miss my leadership role at times, but I am excited to spend more time teaching and looking forward to focusing more attention on my design practice. Have a great summer everyone!
-Jeffrey L. Day