Texas Tech University

College of Architecture Receives $1.5 Million Endowed Chair in Urban Design

Glenys Young

September 25, 2015

The gift from architect Mark E. Humphreys will support urban planning and community design.

Mark E. Humphreys

Texas Tech University officials announced today (Sept. 25) a $1.5 million gift to the College of Architecture from Mark E. Humphreys. The gift will establish the Mark E. Humphreys AIA Chair in Urban Design to permanently support a faculty position and that individual's research.

“The generosity of university friends like Mr. Humphreys enables Texas Tech University to continue elevating its standard of teaching and research,” Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. “Investments in our colleges and our research are investments in the future of our students. The impact of this gift will greatly benefit those who walk through the doors of our architecture program.”

A member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Humphreys is founder and CEO of Humphreys & Partners Architects. Headquartered in Dallas, the international firm specializes in multifamily architectural services and created The Big House design concept for multifamily apartments.

A 1978 graduate of the Texas Tech College of Architecture, Humphreys has a long history of supporting the college, recruiting at the college's annual career fair and serving as a guest lecturer. He previously established a scholarship endowment at Texas Tech in the name of Humphreys & Partners Architects.

Humphreys et al.
(l-r) David Driskill, President Nellis, Humphreys, Dean Vernooy

“I am honored and humbled to receive such respected accolades in my profession. I am in such venerated company and I look forward to witnessing the students at Texas Tech's College of Architecture benefit from the resources that the Mark E. Humphreys AIA Chair in Urban Design will afford them,” Humphreys said. “As a student, I attended an urban architecture design class. At the time, the classes were not yet a curriculum favorite; it was a unique experience and I am thrilled to contribute to such a cutting-edge program. Humphreys & Partners would not have succeeded without the Texas Tech architecture program.”

The urban design program at Texas Tech focuses on revitalizing urban areas to create more people-friendly environments and encourage economic development. Faculty and students in urban design are best known for their participation in Urban Tech, a program that teaches architecture students to help local governments and civic organizations redesign municipal areas through laboratory experiences and public exhibitions. Through its community outreach, the program developed plans last year for the High Cotton Center, a facility for Lubbock's homeless population.

The endowed chair supports teaching and research at a time when Texas Tech is building on its reputation as a national research university. Adding to the gift's potential impact, $1 million of the gift is eligible for state matching funds through the Texas Research Incentive Program.

“Gifts like these have a transformative impact on the academic reputation of a college,” said Andrew Vernooy, dean of the College of Architecture. “Endowed chairs enable us to recruit and retain world-class faculty, and in turn, this enriches the classroom experience and helps bring top students to our university.”

This is the second endowed chair to be created in the College of Architecture.

Humphreys also donated additional funds to create a graduate fellowship in the name of Dudley Thompson, a former interim dean of the College of Architecture. The fellowship's first recipient is Ivan Garcia, a graduate student from El Paso.