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 Phillip Rollfing  


Dean Regan reflects on
college’s centennial year



By J. Thomas Regan, Dean
Texas A&M College of Architecture

From the first in Texas to the largest in the nation — that is the story of the Texas A&M College of Architecture’s first 100 years! The first formal education for Texas architects was initiated September 1, 1905, at what was then known as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, by Dr. Frederick E. Giesecke. Since that modest beginning, the department was formed; then the college, which has expanded to offer degrees in architecture, construction, environmental design, land development, landscape architecture, urban planning, and visualization — all the major disciplines of the built and virtual environment. Together these programs have awarded degrees to more than 13,800 graduates, Aggies who have made lifelong contributions to their professions, and to the people of Texas, the nation and the world.

Continuing the great leadership of Dr. Giesecke, our founder, Ernest Langford, department head from 1929-56, and Edward Romieniec, our first dean, hundreds of dedicated faculty and staff members over the decades have made the college’s multiple departments and programs the successes they are today.

The college is now the largest of its kind of the approximately 100 architecture colleges in the United States, and it offers our students and faculty unparalleled opportunities. The strong disciplinary focus of the degree programs, which underpins the interdisciplinary collaborations of faculty and students, allows work on integrated, interdisciplinary projects. Design/build studios often activate these research/teaching projects, paralleling real-world practices by encouraging teamwork and innovation. Curricula requiring each undergraduate to spend one long semester away from campus have created opportunities to study and to work literally around the world, giving our graduates a marked advantage of maturity and experience over those in other colleges.

The interdependence of research and teaching throughout the college has created the most advanced research agenda of any college of architecture in the nation. Working through our research centers, highly qualified faculty members are expanding the knowledge base in a variety of built and virtual environment disciplines. For a century, former students from the college have led and continue to lead the professions and industries in our fields, while providing valuable service to national professional organizations. Through their generous gifts, former students and friends have made the development of the college, over the last five years, the most successful in its 100-year history.

As we reflect on our amazing past and anticipate the wonders of our collective future, I am honored to be at the helm of the college with the best faculty, staff, students, and former students in the nation.


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Dean Thomas Regan