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Columbia GSAPP Announces James Stewart Polshek Scholarship Fund

Portrait of James Stewart Polshek against a white background.
Image credit: Portrait of James Stewart Polshek by Aislinn Weidele.
The $350,000 Endowed Scholarship Fund honors the legacy of James Stewart Polshek, Dean of GSAPP from 1972 until 1987 and Professor Emeritus.
January 27, 2023

In January 2023, Columbia GSAPP Dean Andrés Jaque proudly announced the creation of the James Stewart Polshek Endowed Scholarship Fund. Led with a founding gift of $125,000 from Ennead Architects, the Scholarship is to be awarded in perpetuity to a GSAPP Master of Architecture student who is entering their final year in the program and whose studies and work demonstrate design excellence with a commitment to enduring positive social impact.

James Stewart Polshek served as Dean of GSAPP for fifteen years from 1972 until 1987, and was Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. Polshek is recognized for leading the School’s transformation by assembling an ideologically diverse faculty with whom he developed a socially relevant curriculum, created new degree-granting programs in planning and preservation, and established the interdisciplinary Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, among other initiatives.

The diversity of approaches, intergenerational collaboration, and creative discourse that Polshek fostered at Columbia found its analogue in the design and evolution of the Polshek Partnership as an open field for architectural experimentation and invention. The office that Polshek began in 1963, as James Stewart Polshek Architect, evolved through multiple iterations. Following his retirement in 2005, the firm transitioned in 2010 from Polshek Partnership to Ennead Architects. Today, Ennead Architects remains committed to Polshek’s enduring legacy: creating humanistic architecture, planning, and interiors with a focus on sustainable solutions and civic good. James Stewart Polshek received numerous awards during his lifetime, including the Gold Metal from the American Institute of Architects in 2018 and the Fulbright Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. Polshek was recognized with an Honorary Degree at Columbia University’s 2022 Commencement.

The James Stewart Polshek endowed scholarship will be awarded annually to a student entering their final year of the Master of Architecture program, beginning in Fall 2023. The scholarship will be in the amount of $10,000 in 2023 and increase in future years with additional support of the endowment. The application form and requirements will be communicated to eligible students in summer 2023.

We invite alumni and friends to join us in supporting the Polshek endowment and continuing to support students who reflect the values of his work. All gifts to the Polshek Scholarship will be matched 1:1 by Columbia GSAPP.

Video courtesy of Ennead Architects.

With gratitude to our generous supporters:

Ennead Architects
Columbia GSAPP
Jenny Polshek
Peter Polshek

Nina Hofer
Carol A. Clark and Kyle R. Johnson
Catherine Chermayeff
Joseph Fleischer
Jane Friesen
Angela Giral
Ruth Kavesh
Anthony Knerr
William Jack Phillips and Lesley N. Morgado
Susan T. Rodriguez and Charles Lowrey
Janet C. Ross
Alix Kates Shulman
Jackie Snyder
Robert A.M. Stern
Audrey Yett