Jon Stryker (M.Arch ’89), founder and president of the Arcus Foundation, is the first recipient of the College of Environmental Design’s Catherine Bauer Wurster Award for Social Practice. The award recognizes the significant achievements of a CED alumnus toward advancing social justice, environmental conservation, and fair urban development. The award honors the legacy of Catherine Bauer Wurster, a UC Berkeley educator and one of the foremost housing advocates of her generation.
Through the Arcus Foundation, in 2000 Stryker established the Arcus Endowment at CED, supporting a wide range of critical activities at the intersection of LGBTQ issues in architectural and urban design and planning. In 2010, an additional gift of $1 million, matched by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, created the Arcus Chair in Gender, Sexuality and the Built Environment at CED. The Arcus Chair builds on the work enabled by the Arcus Endowment. The Chair is currently held by Associate Professor of Architecture C. Greig Crysler.
CED Dean Jennifer Wolch said, “Jon Stryker’s passionate devotion to social justice and ecological conservation, and his belief in the important role that environmental design plays in advancing these causes, made him the natural choice to receive this inaugural award. We’re grateful for Jon’s support and privileged to be able honor him and his work.”
Jon Stryker earned his master’s degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and is a registered architect in the State of Michigan. He is a founding board member of the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy in Northern Kenya, the Save the Chimps chimpanzee sanctuary in Ft. Pierce, Fla., and Greenleaf Trust Bank in Kalamazoo. He also serves on the boards of his undergraduate alma mater Kalamazoo College and Friends of the Highline, a non-profit organization that funds the maintenance and operations of the High Line Park in New York City.
Catherine Bauer Wurster was an influential force in social planning and urbanization. She was the main architect of the United States Housing Act of 1937, the nation’s first affordable housing legislation. She taught at UC Berkeley and along with her husband, William W. Wurster, was part of the instrumental group of Bay Area designers and planners who argued for an integrated approach to urban and regional problems. These ideas led to the creation of the College of Environmental Design in 1959.
Jon Stryker will receive the award at a ceremony on March 5th during the 2016 Berkeley Circus Soirée, held at California Memorial Stadium’s Field Club.