The Dean's Letter
April 19, 2022
Announcing a Major Gift endowing the Cornell Mui Ho Center for Cities
Dear AAP community,
I am pleased to share that today, we announce a foundational gift to endow and name the Cornell Mui Ho Center for Cities at AAP, advancing research, teaching, and partnerships dedicated to fostering more just and sustainable cities. Our college has reached this extraordinary milestone thanks to the generous support of alumna Mui Ho (B.Arch. '66). I would like to share both my gratitude to Mui for entrusting us with AAP's largest gift to date in the amount of $25 million to secure the center in perpetuity, and my excitement for what the center will make possible at AAP in both the near and distant future.
An architect and longtime educator, Mui's gift draws parallels with her dedication to seeing and serving need with design and preparing the next generation to not only design spaces and buildings, but to make places and build community. In her contributions to both the discipline and the college, Mui sustains a fierce belief in humanity and the collective responsibility of architects, artists, and planners to build a more just, resilient, and sustainable future. In true alignment with the values that ground AAP in its mission, Mui's gift will strengthen and deepen the impact of our research, design, and scholarship in cities and communities in the U.S. and around the world.
The Mui Ho Center for Cities is the result of the dedication of AAP's faculty, staff, and students, the college's alumni councils, and our broader alumni community to the future of the built environment and is a testament to our commitment to coming together within and across disciplines around the most urgent challenges facing cities today. I am thrilled to share that Professor of City and Regional Planning Victoria Beard will serve as the center's inaugural director. Over the last two years, Victoria has been instrumental in shaping and actualizing the center, and I look forward to her ongoing stewardship and leadership. As she shared with the Cornell Chronicle on the occasion of the launch, "this moment demands that we radically rethink our assumptions and generate new knowledge to ensure our collective urban future." AAP now has a cross-college mechanism for this — for leveraging the work we do in our classrooms, studios, and labs, for generating new research, and for being a leading voice for just and sustainable cities — and it couldn't come at a more critical time.
Thank you, again, to all whose dedication and generosity make this possible — and, to our entire community for your commitment, and your optimism and imagination for planning, designing, and building a better world.
For more information about the mission, structure, and current initiatives that are already advancing with the support of the center, please visit AAP's dedicated Mui Ho Center for Cities webpage which will be updated as the center evolves.
J. Meejin Yoon
Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art, and Planning