Jeanne Gang is where she is today — American Academy of Arts and Sciences member, MacArthur fellow, National Design Award winner, designer of Chicago’s 87-floor Aqua Tower — thanks in no small part to a UI professor whose door was always open.
“When I was at University of Illinois, Art Kaha was a key mentor who taught Introduction to Architecture,” says Gang (BS ’86, architecture), the founder and leader of Studio Gang, an architecture/design firm with offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco.
“Besides teaching, he always had an open door to any student who wanted advice about courses or programs at the university. He encouraged me to study abroad in the Versailles program my third year and this turned out to be a pivotal year for me.
“It was his kind manner and unwavering support that gave me an early confidence in my own abilities in my chosen field. He apparently had this effect on many students, as there is now a (UI) scholarship fund in his honor.”