Landscape architecture prof Nancy Volkman passes away

Nancy Volkman

Nancy Volkman

Nancy Jeanne Volkman, associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 after a long illness.

Volkman is remembered by her Texas A&M family as an intelligent, generous and dynamic teacher and scholar, an optimistic best-friend-to-many who enjoyed travel and pets, especially her three dogs Shadow, Kyra and Mr. Chips.

She was born in Chicago in 1949, where she attended Catholic elementary and high schools. While pursuing an anthropology degree at Beloit College in Wisconsin, Volkman studied in the Philippines and worked on an archaeological dig. After graduating cum laude in 1971, she engaged in social work for five years, then completed her studies in landscape architecture, earning a master’s degree from the University of Illinois.

Nancy practiced landscape architecture at several firms prior to joining the Texas A&M faculty in 1981 where she taught the history of landscape architecture and many other courses.

As a scholar, she focused on community design, landscape architecture history, historic preservation and rural landscapes. She penned 22 peer-reviewed publications, including two editions of a seminal book, "Landscapes in History: Design & Planning in the Eastern & Western Traditions," which she coauthored with Phillip N. Pregill, a professor of landscape architecture at California State Polytechnic University. Nancy also wrote numerous articles and made numerous national and international presentations, many as a keynote speaker. Throughout her scholarly career, she received numerous honors and grants, including many for her work in historical preservation.

As recently as a month prior to her death, Nancy was researching for three books: one examining the Islamic influence on American landscapes, the second, on the works of Horace Cleveland, a noted American landscape architect, the third, a coffee table book featuring the entrances to subdivisions.

Nancy contributed to numerous charities, including the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and Little Brother of the Poor & Homeless in Chicago, her favorite. She loved nature and different cultures, especially Asian cultures, and she loved traveling the world.

Nancy's former students are organizing a scholarship endowment in her name to annually benefit a female landscape architecture student.

Those interested in contributing to the Nancy Volkman scholarship should contact Cecilia Giusti, associate dean for Outreach and Diversity at Texas A&M’s College of Architecture, at cgiusti@arch.tamu.edu.

posted September 24, 2013