Columbia GSAPP Dean Andrés Jaque has announced a scholarship fund honoring the late architect James Stewart Polshek, who served as dean of the school from 1972 to 1987.
The endowed scholarship fund, which currently totals $350,000, was kicked off by a $125,000 gift from Ennead Architects, the architecture firm founded by Polshek. It will be awarded annually to a GSAPP Master of Architecture student entering their final year of study “whose studies and work demonstrate design excellence with a commitment to enduring positive social impact.”
Polshek passed away from kidney disease last year at the age of 92. Following his passing, a number of architects shared condolences and remembrances of him, including Todd Schliemann, a design partner at Ennead Architects, who filed a remembrance for AN.
Polshek founded the eponymous firm James Stewart Polshek Architect in 1963. While he retired from leading the firm in 2005, then named Polshek Partnership, it lives on today as Ennead Architects. Polshek received numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects in 2018 and the Fulbright Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. In 2022, Columbia recognized the architect with an Honorary Degree at its Commencement ceremony. Among Polshek’s most notable architectural contributions are a restoration of New York’s Carnegie Hall (1987), the Santa Fe Opera (1998), the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan (2000), the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock (2004), and the entry plaza and pavilion at the Brooklyn Museum (2004). Polshek was also a Professor Emeritus at Columbia University.
A scholarship at Columbia honoring Polshek is fitting given his dedication to the school throughout his career, notably during his time as dean, a tenure which lasted 15 years. During his time in this role, he was praised for creating a curriculum with “ideologically diverse faculty,” spearheading degree-granting programs in planning and preservation, and founding the interdisciplinary Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture.
The scholarship will be awarded as soon as Fall 2023, in the amount of $10,000, with an increase in future years given additional support. The application form and requirements will be made available in May. All gifts to the fund will be matched 1:1 by Columbia GSAPP.