LAWRENCE — The final KU Architecture Lecture Series event of the 2021 spring semester will mark the first lecture supported by a new fund created by Department of Architecture Class of 1980 alumni.
Launched in 2019, the 80+40 Lecture campaign was developed by Class of 1980 alumni Becky Cotton, Mark Hugeback and Bill Quatman to commemorate the passage of 40 years after graduation and to give back to the institution that provided the educational foundation for their professional lives in architecture. The group envisioned a fund that could be used to bring leading voices to campus each year to introduce students to vital issues in architectural design, research and practice, and give students the chance to interact with these leaders in lectures, discussions and workshops.
“I’ve always been indebted to KU for the architecture education it gave me,” Quatman said. “We all feel that way. We also recognize that funding is tight for all universities right now, and we wanted to make certain future students get the opportunities we had. One of the things that made our five years memorable were visits by some of the nation’s and world’s finest architects. They came to campus, gave lectures and went into our studios to work on projects with us and give us tips.”
Cotton, Hugeback and Quatman started the fundraising effort by collectively committing $30,000, then reached out to their classmates via social media. The campaign successfully reached and surpassed its $100,000 goal during fall 2020. The 80+40 Lecture was established as an annual series hosted within the School of Architecture & Design’s ongoing Architecture Lecture Series.
The first 80+40 Lecture will feature architectural scientist and building technology researcher Mae-ling Lokko at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 16. Lokko’s work centers on the upcycling of agrowaste and biopolymer materials into high performance clean building material systems. Due to current public health restrictions, the lecture and associated workshop originally planned to happen on campus will now take place on Zoom.
In lieu of the opportunities that in-person instruction can provide, Architecture Lecture Series faculty curators worked with Lokko to create a hands-on learning experience that utilizes technology to bridge physical distance and demonstrate the remote collaboration that is accelerating in the architecture and design professions. 80+40 Lecture funds were utilized to provide material research kits to students and for the school to acquire the technology to analyze these materials.
Though the inaugural 80+40 Lecture will be different than originally envisioned, the Class of 1980’s mission to support architectural education at KU in a way that engages urgent issues facing the profession will be introduced – both in subject matter and delivery – in a way that mirrors the present and anticipates the future of education and practice.
Top photo: From left, Interim Dean Mahbub Rashid, Tom Tingle, Bill Quatman and Mark Hugeback.