Sam Fox School Awards for Distinction April 17

Seven alumni recognized for leadership in art, architecture and design; Richard Henry Franklin receives Dean’s Medal

In his 17 years with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Richard Henry Franklin managed a wide variety of transportation projects.

During his 40-year career, Richard Henry Franklin has worked in every facet of architecture and mentored scores of students, architects, planners, and community advocates.

The first African American to study architecture in the day program at Washington University in St. Louis, Franklin (AB ’70, MA ’74) has worked on projects ranging from the restoration of New York’s Apollo Theater to the Lincoln Tunnel toll plaza and the AirTrain rail systems to John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International airports.

Franklin was a senior member of the architectural team developing Michael Arad’s design for the National September 11 Memorial and managing construction administration of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

On Thursday, April 17, Franklin will return to WUSTL’s Danforth Campus to receive the Dean’s Medal from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

The medal, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the fields of art, architecture or design, comes as part of the Sam Fox School’s annual Awards for Distinction dinner. In all, the school will recognize seven outstanding alumni who have demonstrated creativity, innovation, leadership and vision in their respective fields.

In addition to Franklin, honorees will include artist and filmmaker Ericka Beckman (AB ’74), of New York, and designer Doug Powell (AB ’88), of Austin, Texas.

Distinguished architecture alumni will be Theodore H. Seligson, (AB ’53) of Kansas City, and Vicki Match Suna, (AB ’80, MA ’82), of New York.

Architect Valerie Chang Greer, (MA ’02) of St. Louis, will receive a Recent Alumni Award, as will photographer Benjamin Lowy (AB ’01), of New York.

The awards ceremony will take place at Palladium Saint Louis, 1400 Park Place. For more information, contact Aly Abrams, 314-935-7223, or

A still from “Switch Center” (2002) by filmmaker Ericka Beckman. A 1974 graduate of the Sam Fox School, Beckmann was a key member of New York’s “Pictures Generation,” arguably the defining artistic movement of the 1970s and 1980s.

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

The Sam Fox School is a unique collaboration in architecture, art and design education. Offering professional studio programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the Sam Fox School links four academic units — the College of Art, College of Architecture, Graduate School of Art and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design — with the university’s nationally recognized Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

For more information about Sam Fox School, visit here.