Olivio C. Ferrari, the late Alumni Distinguished Professor of Architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech who died in 1994, has been conferred the title of “Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus” by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
As the College of Architecture and Urban Studies celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014, the board of visitors and the university community sought to honor a faculty member who played a seminal role in the development of the college's curriculum.
As a member of the Virginia Tech faculty for 29 years until his death in 1994, Ferrari crafted the core foundation of the architecture program, one of the most highly ranked programs of its kind in the nation, and initiated the Inner College for Environmental Design, an innovative design laboratory that continues to serve as a model for design education.
In addition, Ferrari helped to establish Virginia Tech’s international prominence by initiating the college’s Europe study abroad program in 1968, and served as the founding director of the Center for European Studies and Architecture in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland.
“Generations of alumni in architecture and design recognize Professor Ferrari as the single greatest influence on their education, as well as on their subsequent lives and professional careers,” said Jack Davis, Reynolds Metals Professor and dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
An extraordinary and gifted teacher, Ferrari received numerous teaching awards, including the university’s William E. Wine Award in 1971, the teaching award from the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects, and the college’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1977.
Ferrari was named a Virginia Tech Alumni Distinguished Professor in 1982, and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture honored Ferrari with the title of ACSA Distinguished Professor in 1990.
In 1995 Virginia Tech posthumously conferred its University Distinguished Achievement Award on Ferrari.