College gets new chair,
ndowed professorship

Generous contributions promise to bolster college's health facilities design program


It's a natural sequence of events at top colleges across the land. The finest faculty attract the finest students who graduate and become leaders in their professions. The circle is completed when these distinguished former students reciprocate, donating resources to advance their alma mater through the recruitment of top faculty.

Such a circle was completed in 2003 when a trio of Aggie architects - Ron Skaggs '65, Joe Sprague '79, and Craig Beale '71 - donated funds endowing two faculty positions that promise to enhance the Texas A&M College of Architecture's leadership in the architecture for health industry.

Skaggs and Sprague, recently teamed to create the Ronald L. Skaggs, FAIA and Joseph G. Sprague, FAIA Chair in Health Facilities Design. Concurrently, Beale, and his wife Julie pledged a gift endowing the Julie and Craig Beale Professorship in Health Facilities Design.

Both endowments - the professorship and the chair - provide faculty support for practice-oriented teaching. A named, endowed chair is the most highly regarded endowed academic distinction. It is bestowed on scholars of international reputation. Such a "chair" allows the university to recruit and retain an eminent scholar who will bring the broad vision and perspective, as well as scholarly distinction, to the leadership of an academic discipline.

A named, endowed professorship, on the other hand, is an honor bestowed on a mid-career scholar of established national reputation. Typically, a professorship is awarded to a Texas A&M faculty member who has just been promoted to the rank of associate professor or professor. It may also be offered as part of a recruitment package to a new faculty member.

Both positions will strengthen the College of Architecture's dominance in health care.
"These generous and visionary contributions will make sure that Texas A&M will continue to be the place for health facilities design research and education," said J. Thomas Regan, dean of the college. "They are wonderful investments in the future of the College and the future of the profession."

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Ron Skaggs (left), HKS chairman, and Phill Tabb, head of the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University, look on as Joe Sprague, senior vice president and director of health facilities at HKS, signs the paperwork creating a new chair in health facilities design at the Texas A&M College of Architecture.

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