Remembering Emeritus William Borner

Remembering Emeritus William Borner

By Kerry McCulloug...

January 8, 2021

Bill Borner

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend, William Borner, who was a colleague, teacher, mentor, and friend to our alumni and faculty of the College of Architecture. William Borner joined the architecture faculty in 1972 after serving as an assistant professor at Kansas State University and the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. From 1984-86, he was a visiting associate professor of architectural technologies at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Borner also served the leadership of this college as associate dean from 1995 – 2000 and made a considerable impact to the profession as a part-time Davis Design consultant for HVAC system designs. In addition to the hearts of our alumni, Borner leaves a lasting legacy for Lincoln and Omaha architecture with his involvement in the designs of significant buildings such as I.M.Pei’s National Bank of Commerce, Bryan Medical Center and the Beadle Center for Genetics and Bio-Materials Research.

Students benefited from Borner’s extensive professional experience and expertise in building codes, specifications and mechanical system building design as well as his research focused on sustainable design and the work of Australian Architect Glenn Murcutt and Malaysian architect Ken Yeang.

In 2009 Borner retired and was given the honor of emeritus professor after 37 years of exceptional teaching, research and service in architectural education.

Many of his peers share warm memories of his remarkable tenure with the college.

“Bill was instrumental in my coming to UNL, mentoring me throughout my career and setting an example of excellence both in the classroom and for my research and service endeavors. I will miss him dearly, but have fond memories of our time together,” commented Nate Krug associate professor emeritus.

“Bill Borner will always be one of my heroes for his open interactions with colleagues, his solid devotion to architectural education and his enthusiasm for the mechanical parts of buildings,” commented Thomas Laging, professor emeritus. “I always admired him for his skill as a teacher and for his thoughtfulness as an administrator. His legacy will certainly live on with the many generations of his students.”

“He was a dedicated and positive member of the college and one who was always willing to step up when something needed to get done,” commented Mark Hoistad, Landscape Program director.

“Bill was an excellent design instructor – he was able to encourage students to produce their best work,” said Sharon Kuska, College of Architecture associate dean. “His students worked hard in his studio, and he demanded production and thought, but his students felt the rewards when their projects were submitted and critiqued.”

“Our enduring legacy was built by the greatness of people like William Borner with their dedication to each and every one of our students,” said Dean Katherine Ankerson. “I had the pleasure of teaching a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, vertical studio with Bill and to this day his words of wisdom have made a permanent imprint on my direction as an educator and as a leader. He will be greatly missed by so many.”

Borner will always be remembered as a kind mentor, exceptional colleague and friend. His impact on College of Architecture alumni is profound and a lasting heritage.

A memorial service is planned for a later date. Online condolences may be shared at