When the College of Architecture and Urban Studies was established in 1964, architecture, planning, art, and building construction were all part of the curriculum within the college — the precursors to the four schools in the college today. After 50 years, many of its original philosophies and disciplines still shape its highly ranked, internationally recognized programs.

Dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and Reynolds Metals Professor of Architecture Jack Davis said, “Although the college dates back 50 years, many of the programs have pedagogical tentacles reaching back over a century at Virginia Tech. It is that rich and integral history and promising future that we invite the university community to share with us as we embark on the next half-century."

To commemorate the history and achievements of the college, a variety of special events, lectures, and exhibitions are planned throughout 2014 to bring together faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends to celebrate the legacy of excellence in discovery, engagement, and learning.

The first event in the yearlong celebration is the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Faculty Research Symposium, Feb. 13, at the Inn at Virginia Tech. The symposium will celebrate 50 years of research in the college while featuring faculty presentations on current research. Later in the year, a special exhibition of 2-D and 3-D artwork from College of Architecture and Urban Studies emeritus faculty will run Aug. 22–Sept. 15, 2014, in the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech.

Planning is also underway for a celebration weekend in the fall of 2014 to bring alumni, faculty, students, and friends of the college together to celebrate the history and future of the college. The weekend schedule includes open houses and tours, lectures, and alumni receptions and culminates in a black tie gala.

“In 1964, when Virginia Tech tapped leading architectural educator Charles Burchard to organize and head a new College of Architecture and Urban Studies, it set the stage for the college’s push into the national spotlight early in its existence. Now, with the college beginning the 50th year since its founding, we have an excellent opportunity to celebrate its numerous contributions in education, research, and service on the state, national, and international scenes. We hope that everyone connected with the college, both now and in the past, will join us in the celebratory events planned in 2014,” said Clara B. Cox, chair of the 50th Anniversary Steering Committee and a retired Virginia Tech employee who co-chaired the university’s 125th anniversary celebration and served on the Blacksburg Bicentennial Commission Steering Committee.

As additional anniversary activities are scheduled, they will be announced on the college’s 50th anniversary website and through the university calendar.