Robert Joy

After receiving his B.Arch. from AAP in the early 70s, Bob Joy relocated from New Jersey to Glens Falls, New York, to oversee the implementation of his fifth-year design thesis, a master plan for the Silver Bay Association on Lake George. At the time, the association owned 1,600 acres of land and over 1 1/2 miles of shoreline. Joy proposed selling 900 acres of upland woodlands to the State of New York to keep them "forever wild." The sale was completed in the mid-1970s and the resulting endowment has helped maintain the buildings on Silver Bay's campus, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Joy attributes his life-long interest in master planning to his coursework at Cornell, including his thesis.

"I was never a strong designer of buildings," he says, "But I quickly learned how to view organizations in three dimensions and understand their needs."

Joy founded his own architectural practice in Glens Falls two weeks after becoming a licensed architect in 1977. His early projects focused on the preservation of historic buildings in the downtown area. He joined with a local attorney and contractor to form a development company that purchased nine buildings in the heart of the central business district from the Urban Renewal Agency and rehabilitated them for restaurants, stores, offices, and housing. His work was recognized by the Preservation League of New York State and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as many publications. Joy has been conducting historical walking tours of the downtown area for more than 30 years.

His firm — JMZ Architects and Planners, P.C. — has grown and changed over the years and is now recognized for its leadership in the planning and design of colleges and universities. He and his colleagues have a particular expertise in the design of community colleges and have worked with more than 40 such institutions.

Joy set out to be just as creative with the management of his business practice as he was with his design practice. JMZ is now a women-owned business. As a result of his leadership, two different organizations named JMZ as the best architecture firm to work for in the country in 2009 and 2010.

Joy served as a member of the board of directors and executive committee of the Society for College and University Planning, based in Ann Arbor. He has been an active alumnus of Cornell and currently is a member of the AAP Advisory Council and the University Council. He represented AAP on the Committee for Alumni Trustee Nominations for four years, including one year as chair. He also was a member of the dean search committee in 2008 and an observer for the B.Arch. reaccreditation visit in 2010.

Joy is an avid cyclist and has been to the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia with pro teams.