The Norman R. Millar Scholarship Endowment, created last Spring as a living tribute to the award-winning architect, educator and global visionary whose leadership transformed Woodbury University’s School of Architecture into one of the nation’s premier programs, has surpassed $30,000. Millar died in April 2016 at age 62.
Millar, AIA, had served as dean of Woodbury’s School of Architecture since 1999 and presided over a three-fold increase in undergraduate and graduate enrollment during his tenure. The recent Range: Alumni Exhibition accounted for a substantial portion of the initial series of Scholarship Endowment contributions. Additional donations, which are tax-deductible, can be made to the Norman R. Millar Scholarship Endowment.
“Norman’s talent and experience as a practitioner and vision as an educator helped thousands of young people achieve success in the field of architecture,” said Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, AIA, Interim Dean, Woodbury School of Architecture.
“Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear from a former student, colleague or fellow architect whose career was inspired by Norman’s leadership, and who wishes to honor his legacy by making a contribution to the scholarship endowment established in his memory.”
For 2016, Woodbury’s Bachelor of Architecture program was rated 23rd among more than 140 accredited undergraduate architecture programs by DesignIntelligence, and its undergraduate Interior Architecture program is now ranked 15th out of a pool of more than 190 schools nationwide.
One of Millar’s most significant initiatives was his work on the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure program (IPAL), a national initiative that provides students the opportunity to complete requirements for architectural licensure while earning their degrees. As President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Millar was instrumental in advancing the IPAL program in its earliest inception while serving on the Licensing Task Force of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).
An award-winning architect who, together with his partners in the architectural practice A2Z, won several prestigious awards, including Architectural Record’s Record House Award, and the “40 Under 40” list of the New York Architectural League, Millar continued to actively practice throughout his academic career. In 1985, he founded Los Angeles-based Norman Millar Architects. Later projects included the Ramirez residence at the storied Sea Ranch community in Northern California, in partnership with Judith Sheine, Architecture Department Head at the University of Oregon, and his own home in Echo Park which he called the “Ark House” and which was featured in the Los Angeles Times.
Prior to joining Woodbury, Millar taught at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), the University of Southern California, Art Center College of Design, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He graduated with a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from the University of Washington and earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. He also earned a certificate from The Ross Minority Program in Real Estate at the Lusk Center for Real Estate in the Marshall School of Business at USC. His academic interests included critical practice, alternative practice, urban forestry and everyday urbanism and his publications included “Street Survival: Plight of the Los Angeles Street Vendors” in Everyday Urbanism, edited by Margaret Crawford, John Chase, and John Kaliski, (Monacelli Press, New York, 2008).
Millar served as President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) 2013-14, bringing distinction to Woodbury through his thoughtful initiatives and extraordinary leadership at the national level. He served on the Board of Directors for Places Journal and was active in a number of other professional organizations, including the National Council of Architects Registration Board (NCARB) Licensure Task Force and the executive committee of the California Architectural Foundation; he also participated in several National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) visiting teams. Locally, he served on the Hollywood Design Review Advisory Board, the advisory board for the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design and the board of AIA|LA. Millar was named Educator of the Year by AIA|LA in 2014.
Endowment assets are invested for the long term and provide a permanent source of financial support for the university or – in the case of this endowment – scholarships earmarked toward future architecture students, according to Erik Greeny, Vice President of Advancement at Woodbury. “Each of the University’s schools offers individual giving opportunities that will have a significant positive impact on Woodbury students today and in the future,” he said.