Scholarship and Online Exhibit Honor Thomas Laging's Legacy as Teacher and Artist

Scholarship and Online Exhibit Honor Thomas Laging's Legacy as Teacher and Artist

By Kerry McCulloug...

September 27, 2021

Thomas Laging Exhibit

The College of Architecture honors the legacy of emeritus professor Thomas Laging with an online exhibit of his work and an endowed London travel scholarship that bears his name. Curated by Laging himself, this exhibit features a collection of drawings that span from 1990 to 2010 before digital media became the dominant form of architectural illustration. The collection was prepared as part of a “Zoom 80th Birthday Surprise” that endowed a London Scholarship in Laging’s name. As part of the fundraising strategy for the endowment, Laging has offered to give copies of his drawings to donors who offer a minimum pledge.

The exhibit and endowment efforts were galvanized by a group of alumni who were taught by Laging and two UNL colleagues from the late 1960s and 70s. Former faculty members Roger Schluntz ’67 and Tim McGinty and alumni Joseph Lengeling ’71 and Edmund Buch ’71 were instrumental in organizing and spearheading this effort. Dean Katherine Ankerson also appointed Associate Professor Jason Griffiths to assist with the exhibit’s implementation.

“As Ed Buch and I were part of the inaugural London Study Program marking the 50th anniversary, we wanted to spearhead a fund that would provide the London experience to more students,” said Lengeling. “Plus, the London Study program was dear to Tom’s heart, so pairing the exhibit with the fundraising effort was serendipity.”

“As a graduate from the UNL College of Architecture, I can well appreciate the importance of drawing in the education of future architects. Professor Thomas Laging was, and still is, a nationally recognized master of this aspect of our craft,” said Roger Schluntz, former UNL faculty member and current college Professional Advisory Council member. “His legacy will continue through those countless students that were fortunate to have Tom as a professor - for both design and drawing classes.”

The exhibit consists of sets of architectural and urban design drawings done in conjunction with three firms with national practices: Auntovich Assoc. of Chicago, Illinois; McGinty Inc, in Boulder, Colorado; and Dan Mullin Architects of Moscow, Idaho.

Laging produced most of these drawings for small format design presentation booklets that could be reproduced easily on an office copier. A few of the drawings were design process drawings and created on trace paper with felt tip and colored pencil. The more formal ones are felt tip copied on 90 lb stock and water colored.

Before Laging retired as an emeritus professor, he taught at the University of Nebraska for 46 years and served as the director of the Architecture Program and as the Killinger Distinguished Professor of Urban Design and Architecture during his tenure. In retirement Laging has taught several drawing courses for the college among other activities.

“This exhibit not only honors the life’s work of a beloved and talented professor but also brings attention to his desire to elevate the next generation of designers through the endowment of a scholarship established in his name,” said Dean Katherine Ankerson.

Laging has offered limited copies of his drawings to donors who make a minimum donation to the Thomas Laging London Scholarship fund. Contact Cameron Andreesen at to for more information.