Bruce Lindsey appointed E. Desmond Lee Professor

Bruce Lindsey, dean of the College of Architecture and the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design, has been named the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

Bruce Lindsey
Bruce Lindsey

“We are fortunate to have recruited Bruce Lindsey to the University, and his record of community engagement is impressive,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “Bruce is distinguished in every respect we value, and it is rewarding to have him as a member of the academic leadership team in the Sam Fox School. He will be another wonderful holder of the E. Desmond Lee Professorship.”

The professorship is one of four established at the University since 1997 by St. Louis philanthropist E. Desmond Lee, a 1940 graduate of the John M. Olin School of Business. The professorship is intended to recognize faculty who already have made, and will continue to make, important contributions to the mission of engaging the community. As such, the professorship appointment is open to all schools at the University, and is reviewed every five years. It was previously held by W. Patrick Schuchard, professor of painting in the Sam Fox School’s College and Graduate School of Art, who retired this summer.

“Pat has done amazing work as Des Lee Professor,” said Carmon Colangelo, dean of the Sam Fox School and the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts. “Bruce brings a similar energy and engagement to his teaching and professional practice, focusing on the ways in which architecture can serve and shape community. Indeed, I think that we’re fortunate to be able to keep this professorship within the Sam Fox School.”

Schuchard, during his tenure as Des Lee Professor, has developed a wide range of public art projects and initiatives, including the new Delmar Boulevard master plan and Critical Mass, a coalition of local arts organizations.

Perhaps most notably, Schuchard spearheaded creation of University Lofts, 1627 Washington Ave. The $5.6 million redevelopment project transformed an eight-story, 64,000-square-foot downtown warehouse into affordable living/working space for dozens of artists.

Lindsey, who arrived at the University in fall 2006, has also developed low-income housing as well as environmentally sustainable projects. He previously served as head of Auburn University’s School of Architecture and led its acclaimed Rural Studio, which allows students to design and build innovative “charity houses” that are then donated to impoverished families.

Meanwhile, Lindsey’s design for the Pittsburgh Glass Center (with Davis Gannon Architects) earned a gold rating under the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s Leadership in Environmental & Energy Design, or LEED, guidelines. The project also received a Design Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and was chosen as one of 2005’s top 10 green buildings by the AIA’s Committee on the Environment.

Lee is the former president of Lee-Rowan Manufacturing Co., a leading manufacturer of closet accessories, plastic-coated shelves, hangers and other products for consumers and retailers. He started the company in 1939 with friend and fellow alumnus James P. Rowan, a 1938 graduate of Arts & Sciences. Over the years, Lee has been a leader in promoting citizenship, civic pride and dedication to the growth and vitality of the St. Louis region, giving more than $50 million to local institutions and charitable causes. In 1996, he was named St. Louis Man of the Year, and in 1997 received the National Outstanding Philanthropist Award. In 1999, Worth magazine named Lee one of “The 100 Most Generous Americans.”

For his outstanding efforts, the University has bestowed Lee with the Robert S. Brookings Award in 2000, as well as an honorary degree in 2002.

Lee has provided significant support for Washington University. He has made generous contributions for business programs, scholarships and cancer research.

In addition to the appointments held by Lindsey and Colangelo, Lee has endowed the E. Desmond Lee Professorship for Racial and Ethnic Diversity. Recently, the Lees have provided another gift to establish the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Professorship, dedicated to advance entrepreneurship. Also named in Lee’s honor is the Sam Fox School’s Des Lee Gallery, located in the University Lofts development.

A formal installation ceremony for Lindsey will be Aug. 24.