Search underway for first Tafel Professor

December 7, 2011

A $3.8 million gift from the estate of Edgar Tafel, noted architect, former visiting instructor, and member of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Fellowship, has established the Edgar A. Tafel Professorship of Architecture, a new tenured or tenure-track position in the architecture department.

The position will direct the college's newly accredited Professional Master of Architecture program (M.Arch.1), and will focus heavily on the instruction and practice of architectural design, including teaching a studio class.

"Now that the still relatively new M.Arch.1 degree program at Cornell is fully accredited, this is a strategic time to provide the program with the dedicated leadership that the Tafel position envisions," says Mark Cruvellier, architecture department chair. "At the same time, this very generous gift will contribute in an essential fashion to the ongoing renewal of the architecture faculty, particularly in the areas of design and studio instruction for which this department is so well known and highly regarded."

Tafel's gift comes at an ideal time for the college, as the architecture department expands its intellectual territory with the addition of new faculty. Funding for professorships and visiting critics is one of the highest philanthropic priorities of the college, and through new hires made possible by gifts like Tafel's, the college will continue its leadership in architectural and design education.

Tafel's connection to Cornell came through a personal relationship with Robert Silman '56, a member of AAP's Advisory Council. His gift will enhance the funding for the Edgar A. Tafel Lecture Series, which launched in 2006 with the goal of bringing a preeminent architect to campus each semester.

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