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AAD Sesquicentennial Celebration

Student inside of The Cube at the Moss Arts Center

Celebrate with us during the month of November!

While Virginia Tech’s influence in architecture and design dates back to the founding of the university, it wasn't until 1964 — when leading architectural educator Charles Burchard was tapped to organize and head a new College of Architecture — that the university firmly established its place as a global leader in visual and built environments.

Snippets from The Daily Bugle 1964-5

Beginning with the 1964-1965 academic year, Virginia Tech reorganized its schools into six colleges: the College of Engineering, College of Architecture, College of Business, College of Home Economics, and College of Arts and Sciences. This reorganization led to significant changes in staffing across the university as reflected in all of the new staff listings in the first three Daily Bulletins from the fall of 1964.

Black and white photo of seven people
The Architects Collaborative (TAC) partner's meeting, ca. 1950, most likely somewhere in Cambridge, MA. (L to R) Leonard Currie, unidentified, John "Chip" Harkness, Jean Bodman Fletcher, Norman Fletcher, Walter Gropius, Louis McMillen. Other partners not in the photo are Ben Thompson, Sarah Harkness, and Robert McMillen.


Leonard Currie, Department Head of Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1956-1962, was an associate at The Architects Collaborative and a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1950. Currie was instrumental in laying the foundation for the College and in recruiting Charles Burchard to become the founding dean of the College of Architecture in 1964.

Charles Burchard remained at the university through 1979. The university recognized him with the designation University Professor and the University Distinguished Achievement Award. He was a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects, recipient of the national Award for Excellence in Architectural Education and the Virginia Cultural Laureate Award, president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and director of the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Burchard Hall was completed in 1998, and was named after the founding dean.

Similiar to the fall of 1964, the College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS) was reorganized and renamed to the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design (AAD) on July 1, 2022.

Dean Blieszner wearing a Virginia Tech sesquicentennial polo outside under a tree
Interim Dean, Rosemary Blieszner

“The new organizational structure will provide greater visibility for arts, design, and architecture programs by grouping them together and locating all studio and performance-based instruction related to arts and design classes in one college,” said Rosemary Blieszner, Alumni Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and interim dean of the newly named college. 

Learn more about the School of Architecture, School of Visual Arts, School of Performing Arts, and School of Design.

Support experiential learning during AAD’s Sesquicentennial celebration

There’s no better way for students to put their education to work and hone their professional skills than through hands-on learning.

Introducing Studio Collective
Studio Collective is a student-run design journal initiated by students in the School of Architecture and School of Design, celebrating the work of students with the aim to broaden awareness and conversations about design.

Studio staff
Studio staff
Studio staff

Studio Collective was born in the Spring of 2014 and will publish its seventeenth journal this fall. Your contribution will fund the necessary expenses to keep our team on the road producing stories, promoting voices that we believe deserve to be amplified, and working with the next generation of students who will carry on the legacy of the journal.

Students in Cowgill lobby at a Studio branded table

The AAD Crowdfunding project runs through November 30, so make your gift and help a Hokie seize an opportunity today!