Lincoln (Neb.) - April 28, 1999 - W. Cecil Steward, dean of the University of Nebraska College of Architecture, will retire Dec. 31 after a 37-year career in education that includes a 26- year term as Nebraska's first and only dean of architecture.
Steward came to the University of Nebraska in 1973 after serving as associate dean of architecture at Texas A&M University. His record of accomplishments includes both local, national and international initiatives, from planning assistance for rural and urban communities in Nebraska to participating in the National Park Service's Pennsylvania Avenue redesign at the White House.
Following his retirement, Steward will continue to work part time with faculty and students and remain active in city and state public policy issues, including his role as a planner on the Lincoln/Lancaster County Planning Commission. Steward also will continue to serve as president of the Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable Communities, an innovative program he founded in 1996 as a partnership that includes state government, the United Nations Center for Human Settlements, the College of Architecture and other public and private organizations worldwide.
"As an international leader in the architectural profession, Cecil Steward has brought the highest level of excellence and innovation to the College of Architecture and to the university," said Nebraska Chancellor James Moeser.
"His involvement in a diverse range of social, political, environmental and economic issues has benefited students and researchers throughout the university as well as communities both in Nebraska and around the world. His visionary work in sustainable communities has helped cities both large and small to be more self-determinant, ecologically respectful and collaborative in their quest for a better quality of life. Although his leadership at the university will be sorely missed, we wish Dean Steward well as he continues to lead his profession in other activities including his continuing role as president of the Joslyn Institute."
Early in his career, Steward was instrumental in bridging the gap between practitioners and teachers of architecture. He has been a leader in expanding the profession to include a broad range of quality of life issues. Among his many accomplishments Steward says he takes pride in being involved in the decision by architects in China to model their licensing and accreditation system after the U.S. model.
"I've been blessed to have those kinds of experiences that I have been able to transfer to students, faculty and the community," Steward said. "And what has kept my motivation connected to this state and to this central place is its strength of character and sense of commitment. It truly is the nation's heartland."
Steward said he is also proud of the character of his faculty and students, many of whom have garnered national and international leadership roles. "I wouldn't trade this faculty for any other in the country," he said. "It is an outstanding teaching faculty."
Steward is the only educator to have served as president of both the National Architectural Accrediting Board and the American Institute of Architects. His leadership was acknowledged when he was named recipient of the 1999 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education from the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.
A proponent of practicing architecture in a global context, Steward in his work with architectural education in China and other Asia Pacific countries advanced the international mobility of students, faculty and architects. As president of AIA, he positioned the organization for greater leadership in international practice and promoted international chapters, which now include London, Paris and Hong Kong.
In 1992 and 1993, he participated as an invited juror in the judging of design competitions for the Seoul International Airport in Korea and the Jin Mao World Trade Center in Shanghai, China. Both projects will be the largest of their kind when completed. In addition, he was planning and design project director for Nigeria's Imo State University from 1981-88, and has been a consultant on architecture and architectural education to the People's Republic of China since 1979.
Steward is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the Nebraska Capitol Environs Commission where he assisted in the writing of the first design guidelines in protection of the Nebraska Capitol building.
Born in Pampa, Texas, Steward received a bachelor of architecture degree in 1957 from Texas A&M College and a master of science in architecture from Columbia University in 1961. He studied city planning and architecture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in France and in 1965 opened his own practice that he maintains to this day, along with his full-time career in education. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Drury College in Springfield, Mo., in 1991.
Steward and his wife, Mary Jane, reside in Lincoln, They
have two children, Karen of Los Angeles, and Craig, of Lincoln.
For questions regarding these releases, contact:
(402) 472-8514, Fax: (402) 472-7825