James C. Jeas
On October 29, 1998, Professor James C. Jeas died following a struggle against renal cancer. For two years in the mid-1960s he served with the Peace Corps as a project architect in Ilo, Peru, working to improve the infrastructure and development of towns and villages.
Biography of James Jeas
James C. Jeas came to the University of Michigan to study architecture from Worcester, Massachusetts in September 1961. Five years later in 1966 he graduated with a B.Arch. degree, having served as president of his graduating class. Often throughout his career, he credited his education in architecture at Michigan as expanding his personal and professional horizons, opening to him a myriad of career opportunities and a passion for travel as well as an interest in different cultures and fine arts.
After receiving his professional degree from the College of Architecture and Design, Jeas combined his passion for travel with his interest in building and his desire to help others by volunteering in the U.S. Peace Corps. For two years he served as a project architect in Ilo, Peru, working to improve the infrastructure and development of towns and villages. This experience was personally very satisfying for him because he was not only improving the standard of living for hundreds of Peruvians but also advancing the image of the United States.
Upon his return to America, Jeas pursued and completed a Master of Science degree at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He then commenced his career as an architect, working for eighteen years at The Architects Collaborative (TAC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While at TAC, Jeas worked on a number of interesting and awarding-winning projects including the Egyptian Museum in Cairo; the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research in Kuwait City; the Tennessee Valley Authority headquarters; the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; the Loring Air Force Base Composite Medical Facility in Maine; and the St. Francis/St. George Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In 1987, Jeas' passion for architecture and interest in education were united. He joined the faculty of the College of Interior Design at the Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. In his position as chair, Professor Jeas developed and directed two new educational programs, one in interior design and another in facilities management. Under his guidance and leadership these programs thrived and received professional accreditation.
On October 29, 1998, Professor James C. Jeas died following a struggle against renal cancer. His will directed that an estate gift of $375,000.00 be given to Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. Because of the great need for student financial support, an endowment was established bearing his name. The fund will encourage and support talented out-of-state students who wish to pursue their undergraduate or graduate studies at the University of Michigan, but might not be able to attend without scholarship support.
"The name of James C. Jeas will forever be associated with the Architecture Program at Michigan," said Dean Doug Kelbaugh. "It is our hope that in some small way the annual celebration of his generosity, and meeting the scholars who benefit from his gift, will bring comfort and fond memories to the Jeas family, and honor his legacy and munificence."
The first scholarship award will be made in September 2002.