Robin Klehr Avia, regional managing principal for Gensler and a 1976 graduate in interior design, has established a new endowed professorship in the College of Architecture and Design at UT.
The Robin Klehr Avia Professorship recognizes and awards excellence. This generous gift will be awarded to a current faculty member in any school in the college or used to recruit an exemplary faculty member, strengthening the college’s faculty recruitment and retention program.
“Robin’s passion is ensuring a legacy of success for the future of the college,” said Scott Poole, dean of the College of Architecture and Design. “Through her generous and long-term financial support and leadership, Robin has made a profound impact on our ability to attract the best students and recruit and retain exceptional faculty.”
After graduating from UT, Klehr Avia joined the New York office of Gensler, the top-ranked architecture and design firm in the world. Forty years later, she has led and influenced design of the built environment in cities around the world. At Gensler, she currently serves as the regional managing principal of the Northeast and Latin American regions, is a member of the board of directors, and serves on the executive committee.
“I’m proud to make this contribution to continuing the tradition of excellence in design education at UT,” said Klehr Avia. “I know the next generation of students and faculty will build upon the quality of the programs at the College of Architecture and Design and take the school to even greater heights.”
Klehr Avia has had a long-term influence in the college. In 2012, she was recognized with an Alumni Professional Achievement Award from the UT Alumni Association, and the following year she established the Robin Klehr Avia Scholarship to assist out-of-state interior architecture students. In 2016, UT bestowed upon Klehr Avia its 11th honorary degree, a Doctor of Fine Arts.
During her career, Klehr Aviahas directed a number of award-winning projects that include the New York Times headquarters and the renovation of the iconic Ford Foundation Building.
She has received numerous design accolades, including a Business Week/Architectural Record Award, the International Interior Design Association’s Decade of Design Award, and top national awards from the Society of American Registered Architects. In recognition of her long and influential career and impact on the future of the industry, Klehr Avia was inducted into Interior Design’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
Gensler is a global architecture, design and planning firm that employs more than 6,000 people in 48 cities around the globe. For seven consecutive years, the company has been ranked the number one architecture firm by Architectural Record.
Founded in 1965, the UT College of Architecture and Design enriches the quality of life in the region and world through its transformational design education, design/build program, key partnerships, and award-winning facilities including the state-of-the-art Fab Lab. The college is composed of more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students in architecture, interior architecture, and landscape architecture. Visit archdesign.utk.edu to learn more.
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