Ward Wells endows professorship supporting arch department head

Larry Zuber


Contact Larry Zuber for gift-giving opportunities that benefit the college.

After 40 years as a prominent educator and administrator at the Texas A&M College of Architecture, Ward Wells, who stepped down as head of the Department of Architecture in 2016, endowed a $150,000 professorship to continue his support of the department.

Funds from the Ward V. Wells Professorship in Architecture will benefit the department head’s teaching, research and service activities and provide discretionary funding for department initiatives.

“The professorship is a permanent testament of Wells’ unequivocal, unwavering commitment to foster excellence in the college’s academic mission,” said Jorge Vanegas, dean of the college. “For many years, he has served the college and university with distinction and impact, and the professorship is part of his solid legacy of wide and far-reaching accomplishments.”

40 years of leadership

Wells, who began his recent term as department head in 2010, said he established the professorship to continue the rich history of the department’s support from former students and administrators and to aid the success of its students and extraordinary faculty.

Well’s departmental achievements include establishing the Celebration of Excellence, an annual, year-culminating academic showcase of outstanding student and faculty achievements that includes a graduate student design competition juried by design luminaries.

Wells also helped launch the Architecture Council for Excellence, a dedicated group of department friends and former students who support and enhance architecture program excellence, build relationships with students, and bridge gaps between the academic and professional worlds.

He served as the College of Architecture’s interim dean from 1997-98 and as executive associate dean from 1992-97 and 1999-2001. “Wells helped shape today’s college in each of these appointments,” said Vanegas.

A member of the college faculty since 1977, Wells developed an interior architecture emphasis for Texas A&M's Master of Architecture program, recognized in 1985 by Interiors Magazine as one of the top interdisciplinary programs in the nation. During this period, students from his design studios won more than a dozen regional and national design competitions.

As a professor of architecture, his teaching and research interests included architectural design, interior architecture/adaptive use and health facility design. He also served as a faculty fellow for the college's CRS Center for Leadership and Management in the Design and Construction Industry and the centers for Heritage Conservation and Health Systems & Design.

From 2002-2011, Wells led the university’s Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts, which hosts public performances by leading artists, supports guest artist residencies and offers grants to support faculty research and curriculum development relating to the arts and university art initiatives, especially those that involve collaboration among different art programs within the university community. 

As a member of the American Institute of Architects, Wells served on the steering committee of the Professional Interest Area for Interiors and was its national chair in 1996. He also served on a round table committee for the National Research Council's Research on Productivity in the Built Environment and as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation's "green" guideline reports.
In 2004, Wells was named an Alumni Fellow at Kansas State University for his distinguished achievements as an educator and designer as well as the Architecture Alumni Hall of Fame at the University of Oklahoma. 

In 2008, he received the Silver Medal from Tau Sigma Delta, a national architecture honor society, and the Texas A&M Graduate Faculty Award.

Support for department heads

Endowed faculty positions in the College of Architecture now support three of the college’s four department heads.

The Department of Construction Science head is supported by the Charles Dewey McMullan ’58 Endowed Chair in Construction Science. The endowment honors McMullen, a former Texas A&M associate professor of construction science.

The Department of Visualization head is supported by the Triseum Endowed Chair in Visualization, established by Triseum, an educational video game development company headed by André Thomas, a member of the visualization faculty.

For more gift giving options benefiting the College of Architecture, contact Larry Zuber, the Texas A&M Foundation’s assistant vice president for the College at lzuber@txamfoundation.com or 979.845.0939.


Richard Nira

posted September 5, 2017