September 28, 2013 First Endowed Professorship Named in the History of UT College of Architecture and Design

The College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has named Lawrence Scarpa, an internationally celebrated architect, as its BarberMcMurry Professor, the first endowed professorship in the college’s history.

Scarpa, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), will teach a design studio and seminar during the 2014 spring semester.

Following the 2014 studio, Scarpa will give a UT student an internship or full-time position at his Los Angeles-based firm, Brooks + Scarpa.

Scarpa will also deliver a lecture and exhibit his work during the UT Church Memorial Lecture Series. A publication documenting the seminar will be produced.

“We are very fortunate to have Larry Scarpa as the first BarberMcMurry Professor,” said Scott Poole, dean of the College of Architecture and Design. “Mr. Scarpa will be leading a studio of undergraduate and graduate students on a design project set within the city of Los Angeles. This fits well with our strategic priority focus of advancing our competence and leadership in the area of urban design.”

As the design principal in charge, Scarpa leads an architectural practice that has received more than 50 major design awards. They include the National Firm Award from the AIA in 2010, and five AIA Committee on the Environment-Top Ten Green Building Project Awards. Scarpa also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Interior Design Magazine in 2009.

The BarberMcMurry Professorship was established to promote design excellence through teaching by a visiting professor, an internationally or nationally recognized practicing architect. It is the result of two gifts—a bequest from Charles I. Barber, one of Knoxville’s most respected architects, and another from his firm, BarberMcMurry architects. In 2011, the firm’s leaders, Kelly Headden and Charles Griffin, UT architecture alumni, matched the Barber gift to produce the $1 million endowment.

The position is also part of Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek’s vision to create more endowed chairs and professorships across the UT campus.

“The BarberMcMurry Professorship is an exceptional opportunity for our college,” Poole said. “It allows us to bring world-class architects to campus to work with our students and faculty members.”

In the last two decades, Scarpa has taught at several universities. He currently is a professor of architecture at the University of Southern California, where he was named the John Jerde Distinguished Professor in 2011. In 2012, he was a visiting professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

To learn more about the College of Architecture and Design, visit

C O N T A C T:

Kiki Roeder (865-974-6713,

R E L A T E D:

A Tale of Two Houses: Two single-family homes in this year’s AIA COTE Top Ten show off two very different faces of contemporary sustainability,a dual feature by the American Institute of Architects on the UT New Norris House and Brooks + Scarpa’s Yin Yang House. In the piece, Scarpa says:

The Norris House is a fabulous little house, and shows the ingenuity of students, in a lot of cases more so than professionals…The future looks bright for our upcoming generation of architects. That is why I teach.

From BarberMcMurry, Kelly Headden, senior vice president and a UT alumnus, adds:

We take great pride in supporting the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee. I am a proud graduate of UT as are many of my teammates at BMa. The University of Tennessee and BMa are linked in many ways; through our design of numerous campus buildings, the number of graduates who have worked at the firm, and our continued support of the state’s land-grant institution. Our firm’s contributions are reflective of our appreciation and support of the many ways the UT College of Architecture and Design has positively impacted our lives and those of countless others.

I M A G E S:

Images provided by Brooks + Scarpa. Features the Yin Yang House and the Green Dot High School project.

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