CLEMSON — Katherine L. Schwennsen, FAIA, has been chosen to chair Clemson University’s School of Architecture.

Schwennsen joins the university from Iowa State University, where she has served as associate dean for academic programs in the College of Design and is a professor in the department of architecture. She will begin her duties at Clemson on Aug. 15.  

“I am delighted that an educator and practitioner of Kate Schwennsen's stature has chosen to align herself with the tremendous tradition and even greater aspirations of Clemson’s School of Architecture,” said Clifton S.M. Egan, dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “With the recent groundbreaking for the renovation, restoration and expansion of Lee Hall, professor Schwennsen's arrival couldn’t be more opportune.”

Schwennsen is an architectural leader of international stature and a fellow in the American Institute of Architects.

“My scholarship, teaching and professional efforts have been directed at changing the ‘who, what and how’ of 21st century architectural practice — making the ‘who’ more inclusive and diverse, the ‘what’ more sustainable and focused on the public good and the ‘how’ more collaborative and knowledge-based,” she said.

“I see this appointment as a terrific opportunity to help what is already a remarkable school become even better. I am honored to have been chosen and look forward to becoming a member of the dynamic and determined academic team of faculty, students, staff, alumni and administrators that so impressed me during the search process.”

Schwennsen received her Master of Architecture degree from Iowa State. She has published and lectured widely and has held leadership positions in international, national, regional and state professional, civic and regulatory organizations. In 2006, Schwennsen was the 82nd president of the American Institute of Architects. She was the second woman and second educator to serve as the elected leader of the then-149-year-old, 80,000-member organization. Her voice on diversity, sustainability and design practice in a global climate has been heard globally.

Schwennsen is a licensed architect in the state of Iowa.

Clemson’s School of Architecture offers a four-year Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a Master of Architecture. The Master of Architecture and the Ph.D. in planning, design and the built environment also are offered as post-professional research degrees. The graduate program has a specialized option in architecture and health that is the most comprehensive in the country.

Clemson’s graduate program in architecture is ranked 14th in the nation by the Design Futures Council publication DesignIntelligence, the established ranking system for design programs across the United States. The School of Architecture has permanent centers in Genoa, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Charleston.

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