The Mario Romañach Fellowship Fund
In 2004 PennDesign marked the 20th anniversary of Romañach's death with an illustrated talk on his Havana, Cuba architecture and career by Nancy Levinson MArch'84.
G. Frank Karreman C'80 MArch'85, the first recipient of the fellowship, shared the following remembrance at the program:
"....there was Mario's favorite technique of turning your model or drawing upside down and exclaiming, ‘Why not this?' with a half smile on his lips. This was Mario at his best as he tried to increase our perspective beyond the project in which we had invested so much concentrated and focused thought. I also believe this helped each student try to get to the simple essence of the idea, upside down or not.
[one day] he gripped my arm and looked me square in the eye. He asked, ‘Frank, do you love architecture?' For a moment the passion with which [he] asked the question took me back and I was befuddled for a response. But as I think of it now, it seems obvious that he was forcing me to think of the big picture rather than the frustration I was having with the immediate problem on my drawing board. Ultimately I answered in the affirmative that day. In some ways it was the only answer possible in the face of Mario's own sense of conviction and passion to the profession."