Grattan Gill to Receive Honorary Degree at UMass Dartmouth


UMass Dartmouth, formerly SMTI, will be awarding an Honorary Degree to Mr. Grattan Gill at its 2009 commencement ceremony.
He will speak at the Graduate Ceremony, Saturday, May 23, 2009.
Grattan Gill played a crucial role in the physical development of the campus as the lead on-site architect, or “job captain,” on Paul Rudolph’s team at Desmond and Lord Architects. His role in the project became central when design architect Paul Rudolph was dismissed after the completion of the Group I building in 1966. With the support of SMTI President Joseph Driscoll and the Board of Trustees, he led a dedicated group of architects in maintaining and preserving the integrity of Rudolph’s design. That team of architects felt an obligation to complete the project designed by a man they regarded as a seminal architect of the time. Gill did more than simply implement Rudolph’s designs. He was compelled to re-design some buildings, most notably the library and campanile. The resulting inner campus is an architectural treasure and one of the few campuses in the country designed and built on a unified plan. One of his contemporary colleagues at Desmond and Lord had this to say about Mr. Gill in a letter following the “Breaking New Ground” symposium on Paul Rudolph in 2005 which was sponsored by the Claire T. Carney Library at UMass Dartmouth.

“I have very high respect for the contributions of Grattan Gill in regard to the campus, as I feel that much of what has been created there is due in no small part to the very fundamental and critical role that Grattan played throughout the project, especially in the early stages and critical communications with Paul Rudolph during all phases. Grattan was the bridge to reality. Without him, I'm afraid that much of what makes that campus would not exist.”

Mr. Gill began his architectural education with a fellowship under famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesen East and West. He continued his formal studies at the Boston Architectural Center and the Rhode Island School of Design. He worked in the office of Desmond and Lord Architects from 1963-1970. He also worked as the project manager for Paul Rudolph, Architect from 1970-1972. He has maintained an independent office in Sandwich, MA since 1973. In addition to his ongoing architectural career, Mr. Gill was also a Professor of Architecture from 1982-2002 at Roger Williams University in Bristol RI. He has published, received awards for his designs and teaching excellence and has exhibited his work. He is a veteran of the United States Army serving in the Korean War. He has served on a number of Boards and Committees in the town of Sandwich relative to historic preservation.

UMass Dartmouth commencement ceremonies will take place in the Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial Amphitheater. The graduate ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 23 and the undergraduate ceremony will begin at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, May 24.