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Achievements in Architecture

Distinguished Alum Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ralph Hawkins dedicated his four-decade long architectural career to designing spaces that were catalysts for change in communities.

He recently received a lifetime achievement award from the American College of Healthcare Architects, an organization he helped found.

“It was one of the first organizations to recognize healthcare design as a specialty,” he said. “It was quite an honor to be notified that I’d been chosen as a lifetime achievement award winner.”

Hawkins recently retired from HKS, Inc., an internationally acclaimed architecture firm. He remains Chairman Emeritus. HKS, Inc designed College Park Center at The University of Texas at Arlington. The arena opened in 2012 and quickly became a hub for campus and community activity. The CPC is known for its environmentally-friendly design.

Throughout his storied career, Hawkins never forgot where it all began. He graduated from UTA’s School of Architecture.

“UTA was no less than foundational in my career,” he said. “I often wonder if I had gone to another school how I would have turned out because I completely give most of the credit of my architectural success to UTA.”

Hawkins was a guiding force during the innovative merger of the University’s School of Architecture and School of Urban and Public Affairs into one college, known as CAPPA (The College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs). Hawkins says the merger is symbolic of a new era of collaboration in design and management.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to combine two smaller schools into a college and bring on a world class dean like Nan Ellin,” he said. “It has developed into a strategy for all major cities to be involved in sustainability and careful planning, and I think CAPPA is fitting that model perfectly in terms of producing people that can develop those types of cities even better.”

Hawkins’ passion for effective design that positively impacts people aligns with his alma mater’s Bold Solutions|Global Impact Strategic Plan. UTA is committed to developing sustainable urban communities, improving health and the human condition, making a global environmental impact, and leading with data-driven discoveries.

Hawkins said President Vistasp Karbhari’s strategic plan strongly harmonizes with the alumni.

“I’d really like to see all the alumni come back, get involved, and give of their talents and treasure,” he said. “The best days of UTA are ahead.”

Unending support from graduates like Hawkins has helped the University of Texas at Arlington become the model 21st century urban research university that it is today.