This Fall, the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) received three significant gifts supporting key priorities for the GSD’s $110-million-plus Grounded Visionaries campaign—student fellowships and endowed professorships. This support will enable the GSD to continue to attract, enroll, and support the brightest and most talented scholars who will be the leaders in transforming the social and built environment and endow the intellectual underpinnings of the School’s world-class faculty. The gifts include:
- The Phil Freelon Fellowship Fund will provide financial aid to students attending the GSD with the intent to expand academic opportunities for African American and other under-represented architecture and design students.
- The Zaha Hadid / Omniyat Fellowship Fund will provide financial aid to qualifying students who are enrolled in the Master in Architecture program at the GSD and who are citizens or residents of the Middle East and North Africa region.
- The Robert P. Hubbard AB ’51 Trust of 1980 endows two prestigious professorships and a student fellowship.
The Phil Freelon Fellowship Fund, supported by global architecture and design firm Perkins+Will and Phil Freelon LF ’90, Managing and Design Director of the firm’s North Carolina practice, will provide financial aid to students attending the GSD with the intent to expand academic opportunities for African American and other under-represented architecture and design students.
“Phil Freelon is a passionate advocate for equity and diversity in the design sphere. These values are deeply supported and ingrained at the GSD,” says Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design. “I thank Perkins+Will and Phil Freelon for their generosity in establishing this Fellowship as the creativity, dynamism, and success of our GSD community are enriched by and even contingent on an increasingly diverse student body.”
“I am honored to have this fellowship established in my name,” says Freelon, whose portfolio includes the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Historic Emancipation Park in Houston, and the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. “As the design profession continues to attract a more diverse talent base, this gift will provide students of color with financial assistance that could make pursuing an advanced degree at the GSD possible. It’s an important step in broadening the GSD’s reach.”
Freelon has long-standing ties with the GSD, including a year as a Loeb Fellow in 1989 and 1990. He is still actively involved at the School, presenting lectures, contributing research, assisting with student and faculty recruitment, and serving as a role model for aspiring young minority architects.
This year, the global design community mourned the passing of Dame Zaha Hadid (1950-2016), the first female recipient of both the Pritzker Architecture Prize (2004) and the RIBA Gold Medal (2016). As her untimely passing saddened friends, clients, and admirers, her legacy inspired the GSD to find a way to celebrate her extraordinary contributions to the field of design.
The Hadid / Omniyat Fellowship Fund is a tribute to Hadid’s work, her life, and her legacy. The fellowship fund will provide financial aid to qualifying students who are enrolled in the Master in Architecture program at the GSD and who are citizens or residents of the Middle East and North Africa region.
“I am delighted that we are able to celebrate the achievements of Zaha Hadid as one of our generation’s most creative architects,” says Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, “Her legacy will inspire a new cohort of talented designers who will hopefully aspire to change the world as much as she did.”
Mahdi Amjad, a friend of the GSD and the Executive Chairman and Founder of Omniyat, one of the Middle East’s leading real estate development firms, established the fellowship fund. The announcement of the Fellowship was made following the October 25th GSD public lecture “Zaha Hadid: A Celebration,” which focused on the extraordinary contributions of Zaha Hadid as an architect. Elia Zenghelis, one of Hadid’s early teachers, shared his reflections on Zaha both as a student and as an internationally recognized architect. Schumacher discussed their collaboration and the shifts over the years in the direction of the practice’s design approach. Zenghelis and Schumacher also shared a conversation with Xin Zhang, Hadid’s close friend and client, whose company SOHO China commissioned several of her significant projects.
Robert P. Hubbard, a long-time resident of Walpole, New Hampshire, nobly dedicated his life to teaching and philanthropy after attending Harvard College. His passion for art, culture, and the environment will live in perpetuity through his support of design thinking at the GSD with The Robert P. Hubbard AB ’51 Trust of 1980 endowing two prestigious professorships and a student fellowship. The Robert P. Hubbard Professorship in Practice of Architecture, which was generously established during Mr. Hubbard’s lifetime, will be fully endowed, and this recent gift from his trust will create a second Hubbard Professorship. Additionally, the Robert P. Hubbard AB ’51 Fellowship will provide financial aid for top design students.
The esteemed Robert P. Hubbard Professorship in Practice of Architecture at the GSD currently supports Professor Toshiko Mori. Mori, Principal of Toshiko Mori Architect, served as Chair of the Department of Architecture from 2002 to 2008 “I am grateful for the immense generosity of Robert P. Hubbard whose name I carry in my professorship, which provides me with prestige and privilege,” said Professor Mori. “In turn, I teach with awareness and responsibility for teaching the future leaders of the world who will transmit their thoughts to next generations. It is a gift of spirit that keeps giving to ensure continuity for the discipline of architecture for the future generations with the intellectual rigor that marks GSD education.”
The second Robert P. Hubbard Professorship in Practice of Architecture will be awarded at a later date. To support talented, ambitious students, the Robert P. Hubbard AB ’51 Fellowship will provide financial aid for designers of tomorrow at the GSD, which will support four students at this time. This gift will enable them in making career choices based on their passions, rather than their financial obligations and broaden the range of diversity within the GSD.
Launched in 2014 as part of Harvard University’s $6.5-billion capital campaign, the GSD Grounded Visionaries campaign aims to boost access to innovative learning at the GSD while offering unrivaled experiences; broaden the reach of design knowledge through transformative pedagogy, research, and discourse; and build the GSD’s future through leading-edge faculty and facilities for the next century.