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Gary Hack

Gary Hack

Professor, dean emeritus | Penn (1996-present) | Class of 1966

Half a century later, Gary Hack can still picture the route he took to the office of his mentor while studying architecture and urban planning in the mid-’60s.

After earning his bachelor’s degree north of the border at the University of Manitoba, “I came to the U of I as a graduate student to study with Dick Williams, one of the great teachers of architecture and urban design, and a fine designer, whose work includes the Education Building on campus,” says Hack, who earned two master’s degrees here and went on to teach at two of the world’s top-ranked universities — MIT (urban design professor) and Penn (design school dean).

“His studio was on the top floor of the old Architecture Building, under the eaves, without air conditioning. A winding counter-clockwise staircase scaled the four stories, with dangerously steep steps.

“The sign said, ‘Left is right, and Wright is wrong.’

“It was the ’60s.”