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Uni. of Pennsylvania Receives $1.25 Million Gift
Donated by Alumnus Barbara Wilks

Uni. of Pennsylvania Receives $1.25 Million Gift

The Center has announced the next conference it will hold, "Design With Nature Now,"" an international conference and trio of public exhibitions opening in June 2019.

Barbara Wilks, founding principal at the Brooklyn-based firm W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, has recently donated $1.25 million to the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in order to fund the the Wilks Family McHarg Center Directorship.

The Center was named after the environmental planner and landscape architect Ian McHarg, who was chair of the landscape architecture department, as well as a professor, for more than three decades. An article found on states that "McHarg's Design With Nature (1969)... is widely considered one of the most important and influential books of its kind."

Wilks, who studied with McHarg at the university in 1991, mentions that, "Ian's lessons have still not been absorbed-certainly not by the general public, and hardly by landscape architects. There's a tremendous need to help people understand that climate change is about much more than building walls around cities."

Frederick Steiner, dean and professor at the university, states in an article found on the aforementioned website, "The McHarg Center has a major role to play in mitigating disasters and improving the quality of life for city dwellers around the world, and we're deeply grateful to the Wilks family for bringing that goal closer to reality."

For more information, visit, or to support the Center's work, contact Jeffrey Snyder, assistant dean for development and alumni relations, at or by calling 215-898-8738.

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November 20, 2019, 3:03 pm PDT

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