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June 16: Carnegie Mellon Receives $2 Million Foundation Grant To Endow Directorship


Eric Sloss                           

Carnegie Mellon Receives $2 Million Foundation Grant To Endow
Directorship, Further Diversity Initiatives in Urban Design

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture has received a $2 million grant from The Heinz Endowments with $1.5 million of the award going to create an endowment for the directorship in urban design and regional engagement. The position will be named for masterful designer David Lewis, distinguished professor emeritus of urban design in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon. The remaining $500,000 of the grant will help to implement a program to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the profession of urban design.
The David Lewis Directorship of Urban Design and Regional Engagement will lead the Remaking Cities InstituteTM (RCI), which was recently created to augment the impact of the legendary Urban LaboratoryTM, the flagship urban design program in Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture. The directorship will emphasize Lewis' commitment to the people of southwestern Pennsylvania and will be the vehicle to steward a participatory urban design process.
"It is truly an honor to have The Heinz Endowments recognize both my work and the importance of urban design in our region and internationally," Lewis said. "The essence of urban design is teamwork, and it is a great feeling to know that efforts to create vibrant, sustainable communities will continue to be supported through this generous gift."
Heinz Endowments Chair Teresa Heinz Kerry said she was proud that the award will be named in Lewis' honor. "David has been a significant contributor to the School of Architecture's international reputation for creativity and excellence in teaching future practitioners," she said. "He also has been a force in transferring that planning and design knowledge to our urban communities. We believe it is essential that the hands-on curriculum of the Urban Lab, which connects students to elected officials and real policy problems, be expanded in the Remaking Cities Institute."
The directorship will be structured as a combined position, balancing both faculty and administrative responsibilities in the Urban Laboratory and RCI. The establishment of this endowed position creates a permanent tribute to Lewis and his work while providing a lasting university model that enables individuals to conduct research, participate in teaching and engage in community service.
"For decades, David Lewis has played an integral role in shaping not only Carnegie Mellon, but also how this region works, lives and plays," said Carnegie Mellon President Jared Cohon. "I thank The Heinz Endowments for this important gift, which will continue David's legacy as an innovator in urban design."
The additional funding will be used to attract students of underrepresented backgrounds in the final stages of their urban design education to RCI. The program will provide additional professional skills to students through an internship program, while offering local employers the opportunity to incorporate these students into their organizations.
"By increasing the ranks of underrepresented students, the program can help develop role models for future generations in the field," said Laura Lee, head of Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture. "It will serve as a vital step in recruiting and graduating student populations that reflect the ethnic composition of the general population."
For more information on Carnegie Mellon's School of Architecture visit