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Community News

Dec 13, 2017

The rump presidency

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Header image: 150th Anniversay Timeline exhibition. Credit: BSA staff.

Given the issues of this current federal rump presidency, it is a great pleasure to reflect on the contrasting legacies of our BSA and BSA presidencies. I am particularly grateful to have been influenced by three superb prior BSA women’s presidencies: the early emphasis on green and universal design of Sally Harkness FAIA, the sustainable/urban design principles of Elizabeth (Zibby) Ericson FAIA, and the righting of our listing financial ship at 52 Broad Street effected by Elizabeth Padjen FAIA, followed by her founding our powerful idea-full “ArchitectureBoston.” On the national scene, I had the opportunity to see AIA Presidents Susan Maxman FAIA (1992–93) and subsequently Kate Schwenssen FAIA (2005–06) in action. The motto of my BSA presidency in 2006, “looking beyond,” supported inclusion and diversity, as well as civic engagement (with thanks to Richard, Alexandra, Nancy and Eric.) I am inspired by the accomplishments of subsequent women BSA presidents in the past dozen years: Audrey, Diane, Lisa, Emily, and Tamara—and Jean coming up. I am equally inspired by the BSA leadership access that the Women in Design committee gives to women, and the national AIA Women’s Leadership Forums that BSA’s Sho-Ping Chin FAIA, Heather Taylor AIA, and Carol Burns FAIA have spear headed.

Meanwhile, I remain totally inspired by the leadership of each of the men and women who effected this change in the BSA and who make it part of its current DNA. This includes at least the last forty years of BSA presidents from Earl and Chuck, to George and Hubert, and through Josiah and Jay. Thank you all, you know who you are!

Jane Weinzapfel FAIA, 2006 BSA president


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