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Preston M. Geren Auditorium named

Auditorium Name Honors "First Family"
Of Texas A&M Architecture


The new 300-seat auditorium at Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture’s Langford Architecture Center has been named to honor Preston M. Geren, the father of Fort Worth architect Preston M. Geren Jr., an avid supporter of the college whose family history is deeply tied to the Texas A&M architecture program.

A member of Texas A&M’s Class of 1945, Geren Jr.’s links to architectural education at Texas A&M can be traced back to the program's inception. One hundred years ago last September, his grandfather, Frederick E. Giesecke, a member of the Class of 1886, established Texas’ first formal architectural education program at what was then the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. He also oversaw the design and construction of many of the most revered buildings still gracing the Texas A&M campus.

Additionally, Geren's father, the auditorium’s namesake, and uncle, Bertram Giesecke, earned architecture degrees from the school, in 1912 and 1911, respectively, and went on to establish successful careers in the profession.

Last summer, Geren honored his family's enduring architectural legacy at Texas A&M with a major gift endowing the Frederick E. Giesecke Lecture Series at the College of Architecture. Subsequently, the college moved to name the auditorium where these lectures will be held in Geren Sr.'s honor. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved the name change at its Jan. 27 meeting.

The newly named Preston M. Geren Auditorium was constructed last year as part of the College of Architecture's $4 million renovations to the Langford Architecture Center.

" It is only fitting that we mark a century of architecture education with a generous gift that will benefit students and faculty for the next century," said J. Thomas Regan, dean of the College of Architecture. "This commitment from one of our most distinguished former students will have a profound impact on the education of all future generations of Aggie architects."

Geren Jr., like other members of the Class of 1945, entered military service in 1943. He received the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart and Silver Star during his service with the 3rd Army in Europe during WWII. He later completed his architecture studies at Georgia Tech, but returned to Texas, where he practiced professionally until retiring in 1984. A statewide leader in the profession, he served as president of the Texas Society of Architects, president of TSA's Fort Worth Chapter, chair of the Texas Architectural Foundation and remains a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

At Texas A&M, Geren served as president of the 12th Man foundation and served on the five-member Presidential Museum Committee. He continues to serve on the President's Advisory Council and the College of Architecture Dean's Advisory Council. In 1998, Geren was named a member of the College of Architecture's inaugural class of outstanding former students.

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Preston M. Geren