Distinguished Alumni Award

Alumni 2010


Michael Painter

Michael R. Painter, FASLA (B.S. Landscape Architecture, 1956)

President, MPA Design

Michael Painter’s interest in landscape architecture began with a part-time job doing site construction as a high school student with the Southern California design/build firm Hahn & Hoffman. He earned a degree in landscape architecture from UC Berkeley in 1956, working summers with Hahn & Hoffman to finance his studies. As a junior at Berkeley, Painter was recommended by faculty member Mai Arbegast for part-time work at Lawrence Halprin & Associates, and he joined the firm full-time upon graduation. In Halprin’s office Painter worked on projects including the Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in Marin, a consulate in Japan, and residential gardens.

John Carl Warnecke & Associates, a well-known San Francisco architectural firm, invited Painter to become their in-house landscape architect. Painter became an associate and then a partner, and worked on numerous projects in the Bay Area, Hawaii, and Washington D.C.: notably, Asilomar, the College of San Mateo, the Mauna Kea Hotel Master Plan, the Honolulu Civic Center, Lafayette Park, and the John F. Kennedy Gravesite. During these years, Painter earned his master’s degree in urban design from Harvard while continuing to work part-time with the Warnecke firm.

After 11 years with the Warnecke firm and a brief association with Peter Walker, Painter opened his own practice, Michael Painter & Associates, which became MPA Design in 1984. Throughout over 40 years of experience Painter has offered design development strategies and solutions for hundreds of projects in the Bay Area, U.S., and abroad. His work has been recognized with numerous awards from the ASLA, AIA, and Lambda Alpha. The most enjoyable award was presented by Painter’s favorite first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, in the White House Rose Garden.

Significant projects during Painter’s career include: San Francisco’s Great Highway and Ocean Beach; AT&T Administrative Center, San Ramon; Genentech Campus, South San Francisco; Children’s Playground in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco; and Hewlett-Packard Campus, Grenoble, France. His most significant current project is the Presidio Parkway, which will create a safe and scenic route between San Francisco and Marin while also creating park connections between the Presidio’s Main Post and Crissy Field. Painter’s inspiration for this project goes back 22 years, when he served on the Exploratorium Board and first got a good look at the neighborhood from the roof of the Palace of Fine Arts.

Painter continues as president of MPA and remains active in civic organizations. He serves on the advisory committee for SPUR and on the board of the Foundation for San Francisco’s Architectural Heritage. Painter and his wife Sue have two children, Melissa and Joshua, and a grandson, Alonzo.


Frederic Schwartz

Frederic D. Schwartz, FAIA (B.A. Architecture, 1973)

Founder, Frederic Schwartz Architects

Frederic Schwartz is an award-winning architect and planner with particular expertise in affordable, sustainable housing. He is the recent winner of the Guangzhou International Master Plan competition and was also selected by the citizens of New Orleans and the New Orleans City Planning Commission to re-plan one-third of the city for 40% of its post-Katrina population.

Schwartz is credited with changing the course of post-9/11 planning in New York City through his work, which facilitated an open site for the 9/11 memorial and a way to repair the city’s skyline. The New York Times repeatedly published his ideas including a profile, “The Man Who Dared the City to THINK Again.” Schwartz’s ideas also provided the framework for the New York Times Magazine “Think Big” Planning Study on the first anniversary of 9/11. He founded THINK, an international group of architects selected to master plan and re-imagine Ground Zero. Subsequently, Schwartz was unanimously selected by the family groups to design both the New Jersey State and Westchester County 9/11 memorials to honor more than 900 loved ones.

As winner of an international competition, Schwartz is the architect for the new Staten Island Ferry Terminal at the tip of Manhattan, which serves 70,000 commuters every day. Schwartz is a recipient of the prestigious Rome Prize in Architecture and was selected by the Architecture League of New York for both the Young Architect’s Award and as an Emerging Voice in Architecture.

A graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard University, Schwartz has taught at Princeton, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, and Penn, and has lectured extensively in America, Europe, China, and India. He was also Esherick Visiting Associate Professor of Architecture at the College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley, for the fall 2009 semester. The work done in his graduate studio on retaining the eastern span of the Bay Bridge for public use was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications.


Amy Glasmeier

Amy K. Glasmeier (Ph.D. City and Regional Planning, 1986)

Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In spring 2009, Dr. Amy Glasmeier became the department head of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She simultaneously serves as a professor of economic geography and regional planning.

She has two books on policies to develop and expand technology industries. Her book, Manufacturing Time: Global Competition in the World Watch Industry, 1750-2000, provides considerable perspective on how different modes of industrial organization and varieties of capitalism yield varying levels of competitive success of national systems of industrialization. In addition, she has written two books focused on the special development problems of rural areas and has worked closely with academics and policy makers around the country to fashion programs designed to assist in formulating sustainable development strategies for rural areas. Her most recent book, An Atlas of Poverty in America: One Nation, Pulling Apart, 1960-2003, published fall 2005 by Routledge Press, examines the experience of people and places in poverty since the 1960s.

Over 1997-2007, Glasmeier served as an adviser to and researcher for the Appalachian Regional Commission and was reappointed four times as the John Whisman Appalachian Scholar of the commission. She has worked with numerous federal agencies and international development organizations in constructing development policies to alleviate poverty and promote economic opportunity. Glasmeier has been the proud and appreciative recipient of several grants from the Ford Foundation. She is currently developing a series of reports for the Ford Foundation on the utilization of energy as a catalyst for community, economic, business, and workforce development in low-wealth communities. The project examines the potential to rapidly deploy energy efficiency and renewable-energy investments to achieve economic security for families and business.

In Pennsylvania, Glasmeier is the professional development coach for regional planning organizations building a statewide energy efficiency program. This effort serves schools, hospitals, municipalities, and non-profits. As part of this effort, she is working with resources from the Ford Foundation to train professionals and public officials about the value of energy efficiency policy and action.

Previously, as professor at the Pennsylvania State University, Glasmeier organized research projects on the economic implications of wind, solar, and biofuel industries.