2011 marks another pivotal moment in the evolution of the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation (SAAHP) at Roger Williams University. We reach now together to transform the work of the school and the potentials of our students and graduates through new collaborative connections with the campus, the region and the world.
Since the establishment of the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation in 1999, we have achieved a creative community that numbers student and faculty artists, architects, preservationists, historians and critics among us. During this time, development of new graduate and advanced programs along with visiting faculty and teaching firms have transformed the quality of our work, and extended what had been an undergraduate community to increasingly include graduate students, high school students exploring their potentials, and professionals who regularly engage with our programs. The many prospective students and parents as well as our Visiting Faculty are struck by the sense of collegiality and mentorship we have here, and the character and quality these provide to the work being done.
The SAAHP is dedicated to balance, and to a sense of “mutual influence” best described by Martin Luther King, Jr. in his statement “…we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny… whatever effects one directly affects all indirectly.” Suha Ozkan, a member of Roger Williams University’s Board of Overseers and Former Secretary-General of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, described our School as a “haven of plurality” in a recent visit here. I can’t imagine a more compelling conception of what a school should be than this -- particularly in times when the debate of environmental and cultural issues worldwide is sometimes characterized by fundamentalism that diminishes all.
So we extend ourselves further
The School is a meeting place, a place to exchange perspectives -- where all of us can grow through our work and interactions with each other, in an environment where we can expect a mentoring and collegial spirit. There is a dynamic of expression and reflection; engagement and debate that is looked for and supported. We can expect to become part of an ever expanding community—not larger in number at our campus, but in our outlooks, potentials, partners and beyond. All of us are larger than any single discipline or profession we may seek to study or become part of, any place we are from, anywhere we may conceive of going on to. This is the spirit within which studies in Architecture, Art and Architectural History, Historic Preservation and Visual Arts are framed at Roger Williams. All of us look forward to your participating with us here.
Stephen White, AIA