50th Anniversary

In 1965, the UT College of Architecture opened its doors in Estabrook Hall for about 20 students.  Fifty years later, the College of Architecture and Design had moved into the dynamic Art and Architecture building and expanded to include the schools of Architecture, Interior Design and Landscape Architecture for more than 400 students.

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,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.

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 are ahead.

The 50th Anniversary Celebration, April 28-30, 2016, provided a homecoming for our alumni and gathering for our friends.  It offered class reunions, tours, golf tournament, General Shale keynote lecture: Thom Mayne, cocktail event and a splendid celebration at the Knoxville Museum of Art.

The anniversary celebration also raised funds to help the College of Architecture and Design purchase the building in which its incredible Fab Lab operates.

The Fab Lab is in a 20,000-square-foot, renovated, historic property on North Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. The Fab Lab features a studio, gallery, 3D printers, laser cutters, water-jet cutter, robotics and an x-axis mill, in addition to metal and woodworking equipment.

Alumni and friends can help the College of Architecture and Design raise $1.4 million to purchase the building by supporting 50th Anniversary activities, thus ensuring the college can decrease operating expenditures and increase student scholarships.