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Dennis Colliton, FASLA

(1951 - 2003)

FARGO, N.D. -- Dennis C. Colliton, FASLA, professor of landscape architecture at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., died suddenly at his home on Aug. 17. He was 52.

Born in upstate New York and raised in Minot, N.D., Colliton's professional life began with his bachelor of architecture degree at NDSU in 1974. He received a MLA degree from Cornell University in 1976. He earned his initial professional registration as a landscape architect in Minnesota in 1980.

Colliton joined the faculty of architecture at NDSU in 1976. He was appointed landscape architecture program director in 1986, and except for 1997-98 when he served as department chair; he served continuously in the position until his death. He led the program through its initial LAAB accreditation in 1991.

He was honored for his teaching, faculty service and advising eight times in the past 10 years, including teaching excellence awards from his department and the College of Engineering and Architecture in 2000.

Colliton was selected to the Council of Fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects in October 2000. He published extensively on wide-ranging issues of landscape architecture, and provided community service design work that benefited communities throughout the Great Plains region, including work for the Sheyenne River Scenic Byways. On a grant basis, he assisted the North Dakota Department of Transportation on highway beautification and transportation enhancements from 1990-2003. As a practicing landscape architect, his creative design work included the ceremonial landscape garden at the NDSU Alumni Center.

He served on boards of advisers for the International Peace Garden; the North Dakota State Capitol grounds; the NDSU campus; the Clearing Landscape Institute in Wisconsin; and the executive board of the Great Plains Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects.

Colliton was also instrumental in North Dakota's recent practice act for landscape architects. Before the March 2003 passage, North Dakota had been one of only four states to not have a licensure program for its landscape architects.

After the practice act was signed into law, Colliton told LASN, "This is definitely going to help curb the migration of young professionals from North Dakota. Until now, most students would start their job search at firms (in states) where they could get licensed." A memorial service was held at NDSU on Aug. 21.


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June 18, 2019, 6:32 pm PDT

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