Donor Profile: Randy Gideon
Designs on the future
When Randy Gideon roamed Arlington fields as a youngster, he explored all the angles and elements that made the city distinctive. Now an architect, he uses that attention to detail when he designs a structure in his hometown or far away.
“My grandparents used to live on College Street,” said Gideon, who graduated from Arlington High School and then in 1975 earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from UT Arlington. “We used to fish for crawdads near their house. Eventually, we sold that home to the University.”
Gideon, a 2000 Distinguished Alumnus and founding principal/chairman at Gideon Toal, a Fort Worth architectural and planning firm, is a product of UT Arlington culture.
“It was a great place to grow up,” he said. “I was here (at UT Arlington) when the Vietnam War was winding down—that late 1960s, early 1970s period when a lot of things were happening on the campus and in the world.”
Gideon serves on the School of Architecture Advisory Board and the UT Arlington Fort Worth Center Advisory Council. Last year his firm established the Gideon Toal Endowment for the School of Architecture to provide scholarships for graduate students.
He wanted to give back to the school that instilled in him a desire to make the world a better place through architecture. One of his recent projects, the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts in downtown Arlington, is doing just that.
His other projects include the Trinity River Master Plan, Tarrant County Family Law Center, Intermodal Transportation Center and BNSF Railway headquarters, Casa Mañana Theatre and the River Legacy Park Living Science Center. He and his company have won several awards, including being named the 2007 Firm of the Year by the Texas Society of Architects.
“The University of Texas at Arlington gave students a quality education back then, and it does now,” he said. “Our firm and every other firm in North Texas is dotted with UT Arlington School of Architecture graduates. Dean Don Gatzke is doing an exceptional job reaching out and utilizing the professional community. The architecture school has an excellent reputation in North Texas and nationally.”
A focus on cutting-edge technologies and methods has helped forge strong industry ties.
“UT Arlington is using 3-D technology for design and research tools now,” Gideon said. “They’ve embraced sustainability demanded by clients today as mainstream. It’s a new wave of instruction that’s here to stay.”