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K-State Today

November 7, 2014



Landscape architecture program celebrates 50 years at K-State

By Courtney Boman

The landscape architecture and regional & community planning department welcomes alumni and emeriti professors to the landscape architecture program's 50th anniversary celebration, Catalyst for Excellence, Nov. 7-8. Two days of events will celebrate the program's history, alumni, faculty and students.

The 50th anniversary celebration kicks off with the LAart art auction at 6 p.m. and a dinner at 7 p.m. Friday at the K-State Alumni Center. The LArt auction will offer pieces from alumni and friends, along with having featured artists creating drawings and paintings for guests to bid on throughout the evening. All proceeds raised through the auction will go toward professional development and academic support for department students.

The celebration continues from 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday with Landscapades, an annual event and primary fundraiser organized by the K-State Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The event will feature an exhibit of 50 years of landscape architecture student work, student pecha kuchas and tours of landscape architecture on-campus projects, such as the Meadow and green roofs. The celebration will conclude with a watch party for the K-State vs. TCU football game.

Robert P. Ealy formed the landscape architecture department in 1964. He assembled a remarkable group of faculty who educated some of the first landscape architects in the country. The K-State landscape architecture program was first awarded accreditation in 1964. The first students went on to create award winning designs. Those pioneers were followed by another generation of passionate faculty and students who continue to shape the landscape architecture field today.

Ealy, known to many as "Doc," was the catalyst that brought new meaning to landscape architecture in the center of the United States and at K-State. Ealy shaped the profession and region, creating an academic department with sustained impact on the profession; establishing professional registration in Kansas; and preserving the natural landscape of the region.

"I have had the distinct honor of studying and working with almost every member of our remarkable landscape architecture faculty who have served since 1964," said Stephanie Rolley, professor and head of the landscape architecture and regional & community planning department. "The program has grown and changed with the profession, while remaining true to our founding values. It will be exciting to have current and former faculty together with current students and alumni from all five decades."