June 20, 2016 50 Years in the Making…College Celebrates with Alumni

50th anniv welcome reception

Barbecue and bluegrass, tours and tailgate, golf and gala…


This celebration was 50 years in the making. Add to the atmosphere a collegial mix of alumni, students, faculty and friends, and the College of Architecture and Design’s 50th anniversary celebration was a history-making milestone.

After all, it’s not every day a college celebrates 50 years.


In 1965, the New School of Architecture opened its doors in Estabrook Hall, a striking building near Neyland Stadium containing crisscrossing, Hogwarts-like stairways. The first class comprised about 20 students, who came to Knoxville to pursue their dreams of becoming architects.

Fifty years later, students still are trekking to Knoxville to pursue their dreams in the College of Architecture and Design, now located in the stunning Art + Architecture Building. Each fall, about 100 students begin their journeys to earn professional degrees in architecture, interior design and landscape architecture.

But it’s what happened in those middle years that was remembered and celebrated on April 28-30. That’s when the College of Architecture and Design invited alumni and friends to come together to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

For those three days, alumni from across the country reconnected around food, friendship, memories and laughter. They went on tours,

50th anniv Smokey
played golf, ate barbecue, (met Smokey!) and had countless photos made. Thom Mayne, principal of Morphosis, delivered an engaging presentation as the General Shale keynote lecturer, and guests reminisced at 50th anniversary exhibits designed by architecture students.

The 50th anniversary celebration was a splendid opportunity to share with alumni the impressive progress of the college and its students. But it had a more enduring purpose, as well. It also helped the college move toward increasing student scholarships by raising funds to purchase the building in which the college’s Fab Lab operates. Once the $1.5 million lease for the Fab Lab building is eliminated, the college will redirect those funds toward much needed scholarships. More information is at

The College of Architecture and Design thanks the 700 alumni, friends, industry partners, students, faculty and staff for commemorating this milestone. And sincere appreciation goes to General Shale, platinum sponsor; BarberMcMurry Architects and McCarty Holsaple McCarty, gold sponsors; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, silver sponsor; and the many other generous organizations and professionals who chose to sponsor the celebration and help increase student scholarships.

Certainly the 50th anniversary was worthy of celebration, but eyes are now on the century mark. Great things ahead.

Sharing Memories…A Look at the 50th Anniversary

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Click below for more photos and links to videos from the

50th Anniversary.


Mark - web