Distinguished Alumni Award

Alumni 2007


William Byrd Callaway

William Byrd Callaway (B.Larch., 1966)

Board Member, SWA Group

Bill Callaway was born in 1943 and raised in Courtland, California, on a Sacramento River Delta ranch that his family has farmed since 1850. In 1967, as the first in his family to go to college, he graduated from Cal with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree, spent six months in the Marine Corps Reserve, and reported for work at Sasaki Walker Associates (SWA) in San Francisco. In 1969 he went to Harvard Graduate School of Design for a Master of Landscape Architecture degree, completed in 1971, and returned to SWA, which had changed its name to SWA Group and moved to Sausalito. In 1994 he was made a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects. He was named President of SWA in 1992 and Chief Executive Officer in 2002. SWA was awarded the ASLA Firm Award in 2005.

During the forty years with SWA Bill has been a designer, urban designer, and physical planner. Among his projects are Concord Pavilion; Oakland City Center; Fireman's Fund Headquarters; IBM Almaden Research Center and Refugio Valley Park in the Bay Area; Columbus, Indiana, City Hall; The Georgia World Congress Plaza in Atlanta; and Filinvest City, Tuen Mun, and Beijing new towns in Asia.

Bill is married to Barbara Meacham (UC Berkeley M.L.A. ’73) and has four children: Amy (UC Berkeley B.A. ’94), Peter (UC Berkeley B.A. ’97), Catherine (UC Davis B.S. ’09) and Andrew (San Francisco Art Institute B.F.A. ’11). His first grandchild was born three months ago.


Michael L. Fischer

Michael L. Fischer (M.C.P. 1967)

Michael Fischer arrived in the Bay Area from San Antonio, searching for a career, when he encountered the Sierra Club’s first coffee-table book, This is the American Earth, with photographs by Ansel Adams and poetry by Nancy Newhall. He said to his counselor at Foothill College, “This is what I want to do.” After reading the book, she thoughtfully told Michael, “Get your degree in political science, and think about city planning.” He did both, graduating from Santa Clara University with a B.A. in Political Science and from Berkeley’s Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) with a Master in City Planning.

He began his planning career at the local level in different planning capacities for the City of Mountain View, San Mateo County, and San Francisco. As a board member of the Planning and Conservation League, he learned the statewide planning ropes, becoming a leader in the establishment of Proposition 20, the citizen initiative that created the California Coastal Commission.

Michael Fischer dedicated much of his career to protecting and planning for the future of the 1,100 miles of California coast:

  • As the first executive director of the Bay Area’s Regional Coastal Commission, he was responsible for producing a coastal plan for the region.
  • As the second statewide executive director of the California Coastal Commission, he quickly became enmeshed in the national controversy surrounding offshore oil drilling, prevailing in a US Supreme Court case, Exxon v. Fischer. He led the transition from statewide coastal planning to the approval of local coastal plans.
  • He was a founding leader of the Coastal States Organization, an alliance of state coastal program directors which advocated for enlightened federal policy and funding for state programs.
  • Years later, he served as executive director of the California Coastal Conservancy, which completed numerous projects under his tenure including the restoration of tidal wetlands at Sonoma Baylands.

Between the Coastal Commission jobs, he served as deputy director and chief of policy for Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research. He was the principal author of California’s only adopted statewide plan, An Urban Strategy for California.

As Executive Director of the national Sierra Club, he oversaw its unprecedented growth in membership, initiated the Club’s environmental justice work, and led the Club through its 100th Anniversary and its first capital campaign, which was successful in raising $100,000,000.

Michael brought his full-time career to a close as director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s environmental grantmaking program.  During those six years, his perspective expanded to an international view, enabling him to provide more than $100,000,000 for locally-based planning and environmental programs all over the world.

In every position he held, the lessons learned at DCRP were influential: Never seek a piecemeal approach to any problem; always seek to integrate, to assemble a comprehensive, collaborative, long-range approach; technical skills are essential but useful only if they are married to strategic, gutsy policy advocacy; teamwork, partnerships, respect for individuals and for diversity. Those were the lessons taught not only in class but in the many examples set by the interpersonal and professional relationships among the students and professors. DCRP provided a lasting base for Michael’s fluid, varied career, always focused on the initial objectives outlined in This is the American Earth.


Craig E. Hodgetts

Craig E. Hodgetts, FAIA (Undergraduate Study in Architecture, 1963–64)

Creative Director, Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture

Craig Hodgetts, Creative Director of Hodgetts + Fung Design and Architecture in Los Angeles, is a designer, teacher and scholar. With his partner, Hsin-Ming Fung, he has expanded the boundaries of conventional practice to integrate the worlds of the arts, technology and urbanity. He has produced award-winning master plans, urban designs, historic renovations, exhibition installations, cultural facilities, and industrial products. Known for employing an imaginative weave of high technology and story-telling to invigorate his designs, he produces an architecture that embraces contemporary ideology, information culture and evolving lifestyles. With a broad-ranging background in automotive design, theater, and architecture, grounded by Mid-Western traditions, Hodgetts brings dramatic concepts to life by means of an uncompromised application of construction methodology.

Hodgetts received his Master of Architecture with honors from Yale University School of Art and Architecture after undergraduate studies in architecture at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, automotive design at General Motors Institute, theater arts at San Francisco State, and fine arts at Oberlin College. Hodgetts was a Founding Dean of the School of Design at The California Institute of the Arts, and is currently a Professor of Architecture at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. Known for his enthusiasm for interdisciplinary studies, he has also been active in curriculum development at the Art Center College of Design, where he created a prototype classroom for advanced studies in the Department of Environmental Design.

Hodgetts leads the design of his firm’s projects, which range from cultural and entertainment to institutional and civic facilities. Completed works include two branches of the Los Angeles Public Library, Hollywood Bowl’s new bandshell, Gershwin Gallery at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, American Cinemathèque at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, Mullin Sculpture Studio at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. Current projects include California Academy of Sciences exhibitions in San Francisco, ImaginAsian Theater in Los Angeles, Menlo-Atherton High School Performing Arts Center in Menlo Park, and Yamano Gakuen Complex in Tokyo, Japan. His designs include many award-winning exhibitions, and Hodgetts represented the United States at the XII Venice Biennale. His work is widely published in national and international periodicals and numerous books. His firm has received over thirty awards, including the 2006 Gold Medal from the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.