In Memoriam: Drew Sanderford

Sept. 7, 2023

A Message from School of Landscape Architecture and Planning Director Laurie Macmillan Johnson

Drew Sanderford, Former CAPLA Associate Professor of Real Estate Development and Urban Planning
In Memoriam
Drew Sanderford


It is with great sadness that I write to let you know that our former colleague Drew Sanderford passed away in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 31, 2023.

Drew joined the University of Arizona in 2014 as an assistant professor in urban planning and real estate. He was promoted to associate professor in 2019, when he was also named the chair of the Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) program. He left UArizona in 2020 take a position at the University of Virginia as director of the Center for Real Estate and the Built Environment at the McIntire School of Commerce.    

Drew was funny, generous and kind. He inspired us to be excellent in our craft and instilled in us aspirations to follow his humanitarian nature. He earned our respect, friendship and love.

He was instrumental in developing CAPLA’s MRED, launching the Minor in Real Estate Development and helping revitalize the Master of Science in Urban Planning program. He was a great teacher and mentor, full of knowledge, wisdom and compassion. 

His research specialization in property market public policy creation, affordable housing development, commercial real estate and energy efficiency for residential home building contributed significantly to the fields of urban planning and sustainable real estate development. He was an inspiration and mentor to faculty and students alike.

Drew pushed students to think critically and understand complex topics in a real-world context. He cultivated discourse among students in and out of the classroom. Students have shared that Drew’s impact as a teacher and mentor have extended well beyond the conferral of their degrees. 

As we continue to share our thoughts and stories about Drew, I include the following links:

Thank you,

Lauri Macmillan Johnson
Director and Professor, School of Landscape Architecture and Planning
College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture
The University of Arizona


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