Architect Marlon Blackwell named American Academy member

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 832 views 

Marlon Blackwell

Marlon Blackwell, a University of Arkansas Distinguished Professor and Fayetteville-based architect, has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, according to a Thursday (May 4) news release.

Blackwell was one of nearly 270 members elected in 2023 and joins a membership list that includes Alexander Hamilton, Duke Ellington, Eudora Welty and Albert Einstein. For more than 240 years, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences has been honoring excellence. Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were the first to be elected in 1781.

Blackwell is Distinguished Professor of architecture and the E. Fay Jones Chair in Architecture at the UA’s Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. He’s taught there since 1992. He’s also founder and co-principal of Marlon Blackwell Architects in Fayetteville and is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

“I’d like to congratulate Distinguished Professor Marlon Blackwell on being awarded this prestigious honor,” said Provost Terry Martin. “Becoming a part of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences is an incredible feat. Professor Blackwell joins a highly accomplished and renowned group of individuals who are at the top of their fields and professions. He is an inspiration to his fellow faculty and his students, and we are grateful to professor Blackwell for all he has achieved for the university and in the world of architecture.”

Past elected members with Arkansas ties include Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton; alumna C.D. Wright, a writer and educator; alumnus Morris Sheppard Arnold, former U.S. circuit judge for the Eighth Circuit; and Vernon Eulion Jordan, attorney and social and political action organization executive. In 2022, Peter Ungar, a UA Distinguished Professor of anthropology and director of the Environmental Dynamics Program, was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

“Marlon’s election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences signifies the highest accomplishments in American culture,” said Peter MacKeith, dean of the Fay Jones School. “In this, he joins Arkansas Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as his U of A faculty colleague Peter Ungar. But moreover, he joins the most significant figures in American architecture, visual arts and the sciences. Marlon’s greatest accomplishment, however, is the grace, dignity and humility with which he has achieved so much — and his recognition of all those with whom he has worked and whom he has supported. The school is proud and grateful to our friend.”

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