Outstanding alumni discuss education’s role in their careers

Outstanding alumni of Texas A&M’s College of Architecture discussed how their education paved the way for successful careers and professional accomplishments at a public panel discussion Oct. 26 in the Wright Gallery.

“These former students provided inspirational motivation to our current students, who got to see just what you can do with an Aggie education,” said Geoffrey Booth, coordinator of the college’s Master of Land and Property Development program, who introduced the panelists at the forum.

Panelists, who also answered questions from the audience, included the head of a company that built Cowboys Stadium and a former mayor of Austin who is also one of the nation's leading high-density development advocates.

Following the discussion, panel members headed to the Memorial Student Center for a banquet honoring the college’s newest outstanding alumni.

Panelists in the event’s first session, included Harold Adams '61, retired chariman of RTKL, Arch Aplin ’80, founding owner of Buc-ee’s convenience stores, Bill Barlow ‘70, instrumental in preserving many of Boston’s most cherished historical structures, and Dennis Jerke, a leading land developer and author.

The session also included Scott Slaney ’76, design and managing principal in the Shanghai office of SWA Group, a planning, landscape architecture and urban design firm, and Will Wynn ’84, former Austin mayor and a high-density development advocate with a national reputation.

A second group of outstanding alumni continued the discussion; Chuy Hinojosa ‘58, whose career as a planning educator spanned 40 years, Helen Keaton ‘85, a leader in San Antonio’s construction industry and Scott Marble ’83 a pioneer in innovative uses of digital fabrication and unique assembly techniques.

The session included Leonard Rejcek ’80, president of a construction firm that built Reliant Stadium, Cowboys Stadium and the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, Ron Skaggs ’65, chairman emeritus of HKS Inc., actively engaged in more than 650 architectural projects in his career, Jim Thompson ’68, who founded an award-winning construction firm, and David Zatopek ’85, vice-president at Corgan Associates, a design firm whose clients have included the Dallas Holocaust Museum and the Sixth Floor Museum.

posted October 3, 2012