Outstanding alum’s book profits
to fund two college endowments


Two endowments at the Texas A&M College of Architecture will soon benefit from proceeds generated by sales of a book, coauthored by an Outstanding alumnus, that touts a holistic approach to urban planning and design.

Dennis Jerke, who earned a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Texas A&M in 1978, is co-author of “Urban Design and the Bottom Line: Optimizing the Return on Perception,” a book project he spearheaded while serving as managing principal for Jacobs, a Fort Worth architecture, engineering and construction firm. Douglas R. Porter, an urban planner, and Terry J. Lassar, an urban development and public policy expert, were also contributing authors.

Jerke recently donated his proceeds from the book, published by the Urban Land Institute, to fund two endowments benefiting the discretionary accounts for the architecture and landscape architecture and urban planning departments at Texas A&M.

“Discretionary endowments are tremendously appreciated.” said Larry Zuber, director of development for the Texas A&M College of Architecture. “They allow departments to take advantage of a wide range of opportunities to help current students and to connect with former students. That includes scholarships, student projects and travel, publications and special events such as scholarship banquets and former student gatherings. Such flexible funds are even more valuable in the current economic climate, when money from the state barely covers the basics.”

When “Urban Design and the Bottom Line” was published in 2009 it earned an Award of Excellence from the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Using verifiable figures and drawing on professional experience, the book makes an argument for the "dividend" generated from high-quality, preinvestment design and investigates the benefits and impact of good design upon all facets of an urban area — the community, businesses, employees, the general public, city officials and the developer.

"Return on Perception," a term trademarked by Jerke, is the book’s underlying theme. Lavishly illustrated with photographs and plans, the book makes the case for value-added design, showing the impact of trails, parks, and amenities, landscapes and streetscapes, transportation and urban waterways, the built environment and conservation, on the bottom line. A final chapter explains how to put all of the pieces together for the greatest impact and value.

Recently retired, Jerke previously lead Jacobs’ national land planning and landscape architecture initiatives in large-scale development and public projects. He expanded the firm's urban design and planning practice from one to seven U.S. locations, encompassing a 70-person team.

Early in his career, he was involved in master planning, designing and entitling residential communities through the southwest. He has managed the design of such notable projects as Main Street in Fort Worth; Timmaron in Southlake, Texas; the Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery; and White Rock Lake in Dallas.

Additionally, he has helped manage over 300 significant projects in the southwest, including urban watershed development, transportation enhancements, river corridors, and park and recreation developments.

"Urban Design and the Bottom Line: Optimizing the Return on Perception" (978-087420-996-9; Urban Land Institute, 2008) is available everywhere books are sold and through the Urban Land Institute at www.uli.org or by calling 1.800.321.5011.


- Posted: Mar. 30, 2010 -

— the end —

Contact:   Phillip Rollfing, prollfing@archone.tamu.edu or 979.458.0442.


Dennis Jerke

Click on images for slideshow

Update your contact info and share your news!

The College of Architecture strives to keep up with former students and share their successes in the archone. newsletter. Please take a moment to update your contact information and tell us what you've been up to. Click Here
bottom page borders