ralph johnson part 1
By Amy Karagiannakis
The Illinois School of Architecture is pleased to announce the new Ralph E. Johnson Professorship in Design. Alumnus Ralph Johnson (BSAS ’71) established this endowed professorship to support the school in attracting and retaining the most brilliant scholars in the field of architectural education. It will specifically fund faculty with expertise and academic abilities in the field of architectural design, architectural design research, and architectural design technology and materials.
Ralph Johnson’s generous gift enables the school to attract renowned or emerging architectural designers to join the school’s already stellar faculty. This directly supports Director Francisco Rodríguez-Suárez’s vision for the school’s future, to which he added, “Ralph has been a staunch supporter of his alma mater, accepting to be an integral part of the alumni board, as well as a global ambassador of the Illinois brand. As director, I am proud and grateful that the recent recipient of the AIA Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award has generously gifted a professorship in his name to the Illinois School of Architecture.”
Ralph Johnson article part 2
Ralph Johnson, FAIA, LEED AP currently serves as the Principal and Global Design Director for Perkins and Will and is a member of its board of directors. Projects he designed have been honored with more than 150 awards, including 10 National Honor Awards and more than 80 Regional Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a Progressive Architecture Design Award. Johnson was recently honored with the 2022 AIA Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award for his consistent contributions to the quality of the built environment, his positive impact on the profession, and his lasting influence on Chicago Architecture.
Johnson designed Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, the current home of the Illinois School of Architecture, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and the Department of Landscape Architecture, as well as the Chemical and Life Sciences Building at the University of Illinois. Major public projects designed by Ralph Johnson include the International Terminal at O’Hare Airport, the Boeing Tower, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Museum of Natural History in Shanghai, China, and the Washington D.C. headquarters for the U.S. Coast Guard.
The College of Fine and Applied Arts awarded Ralph Johnson a Distinguished Legacy Award in 2021, and last year, the School of Architecture recognized Johnson with their prestigious Illinois Medal. Johnson is a member of the school’s alumni advisory board and serves as a jury member for the Alumni Board Design Excellence Awards. When asked about his recent gift to the Illinois School of Architecture, Johnson shared, “I feel this fellowship, through teaching and lectures, can have a lasting impact on a broad range of students.”
The inaugural Ralph E. Johnson Professor will be selected after a national search is conducted by members of the Illinois School of Architecture. All subsequent recipients of this elite professorship may be selected via a search or selected from talented faculty already with Illinois. The flexibility of the Ralph E. Johnson Professorship in Design will enable the school to provide our most gifted faculty members with the dedicated resources they need for innovative research and teaching. This funding can provide for expenditures such as research or graduate assistants, special equipment, materials, and travel.
The prestige and success of the Illinois School of Architecture is a direct result of the generosity and support of our alumni and friends. If you’d like to learn more about how you can support the Ralph E. Johnson Professorship in Design or other giving initiatives, please contact Associate Director of Advancement Paula Santiago.