The G. Holmes Perkins Distinguished Visiting Professorship
Because of the demands of practice, the Perkins Professor does not hold a full-time position, but serves as a visiting designer who participates fully in the academic life of the School for a rigorous period of two to three weeks.
Perkins built the School into a vital, internationally-renowned center dedicated to the promotion of modern social values through excellence in design during his tenure as dean. Many of his now-legendary faculty members were emerging designers, authors, and thinkers; some were already world-renowned. All of them had unique and remarkable talents that made Penn the center of 20th century design thought and practice.
To celebrate the life and legacy of Holmes Perkins, who died in 2004 at the age of 99, faculty, alumni and students gathered at Penn on his 100th birthday-October 10, 2004-to share remembrances, including this one by Joanne Scott PhD'04:
"I didn't meet Dean Perkins until over 20 years after he had retired [in the spring of 1993]. Having been trained in the postmodern environment of the 1980s and having lived and worked in Los Angeles, I was a bit reticent about meeting this man who was sort of the embodiment of modernism. What I found when I met him was a deeply committed, persuasive, articulate, and at that point, reflective thinker.
Dean Perkins was committed to doing everything in his power to make a better world. He truly wanted to make a better life for people through his chosen profession. He had absolute faith in the ability of excellent architecture and city planning to make the world a better place and he devoted his life to that cause.
What I found in the end is that we shared the same love of architecture, the same hope for its influence, and the same conviction for its necessary excellence in application. Dean Perkins cared deeply about his students and about conveying his love of and hope for the discipline to all of them."