Class of 1977 Architecture Alum Establishes Scholarship in Honor of Renowned Architect Judith Chafee

April 21, 2022
A Class of 1977 Bachelor of Architecture alumnus has established the Judith Chafee Scholarship to honor the legacy of the architect and School of Architecture professor.
Judith Chafee, circa 1970.

Judith Chafee, circa 1970. Photo courtesy Chafee/Bloom Family Archive.

Judith Chafee defined her path in architecture as an unrepentant modernist, environmental steward, social justice advocate and demanding University of Arizona professor of architecture, says CAPLA Associate Professor of Architecture Christopher Domin, co-author of Powerhouse: The Life and Work of Judith Chafee.

Though Chafee, who passed away in 1998, was critical in practice and teaching, her influence was both deep and wide—particularly with UArizona students in the Bachelor of Architecture program.

One of those students, a Class of 1977 graduate, has now established the Judith Chafee Scholarship to honor the legacy of her teaching while supporting current CAPLA architecture students.

“There were many passionate professors advancing the curriculum of the college during my years there,” says the donor. “A precious few embodied the innovative artistry at the heart of the profession. Judith joined them in creating new expressions in the built environment that caused in the viewer reflection and gave a new sense of existential ‘delight,’ the pinnacle of Vetruvius’ three qualities of architecture.”

The donor, who joined the B.Arch program after several years in the building trades, retired from a successful career as a senior project architect, focusing predominantly on large commercial and institutional projects. During his career, he established a “donor advised fund,” allowing him to set aside funding and assets for donations to institutions and charities.

When it came time to support a scholarship, the donor and his wife, also an architect, thought immediately of Chafee, her teaching and her innovative architectural work.

As a scholarship recipient himself, the donor also recognized the value of financial support while in such a demanding academic program: “I am grateful that I was allowed to focus on my studies and less about my family’s wellbeing.”

We invite other School of Architecture and CAPLA alumni to contribute to the new Judith Chafee Scholarship. To make a donation, or discuss endowing your own scholarship, please contact Angie K. Smith, director of development, at or 520-621-2608.


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