Every country around the world has at least one magnificent building or structure that continuously stops people in their tracks, is photographed with excitement, and is pointed at with admiration. Architects get to do a little more. They get to say, “I designed that!” reaping the rewards of their hard work through validation and recognition.
Roger Williams University (RWU) first developed its specialised division to equip more students with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve such greatness. Today, it will do so more effectively thanks to a US$20 million partnership with Cummings Foundation.
“Powered by this historic partnership, the Cummings School of Architecture will serve as a catalyst for the university’s continued and growing success in preparing our students to be leaders in all facets of sustainable and equitable design, preservation, and development at the intersection of the natural and built environments,” says RWU president, Ioannis N. Miaoulis.
The philanthropic partnership between the two is the university’s largest ever, resulting in the rebranding of the School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation, which will now be called the Cummings School of Architecture(Cummings School). The school will enhance an already impressive foundation while adding quality lessons in real estate to cater to the interests of budding professionals keen on building happy homes.
Aptly so, as Bill Cummings, founder of Cummings Foundation and Cummings Properties, is also a highly successful real estate developer and entrepreneur in Massachusetts. He shares his confidence in the partnership, stating: “RWU is dedicated to building a thriving workforce across all industries and providing real-world learning opportunities for its students to have community impact throughout their careers.”
“That kind of entrepreneurial spirit is exactly what is needed to be successful in work and life, and it aligns so naturally with our mission at Cummings Foundation to promote and empower the social and economic inclusion of all. President Miaoulis has a compelling and powerful vision for RWU and its students, and Cummings Foundation is excited to be a partner in this growth over the years ahead.”
RWU’s signature NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture programme remains on offer, but better than ever. The qualification provides professional training in design, history, planning, and technology while helping learners develop the critical strategic thinking and communication skills needed to tackle a range of issues from sustainability and urbanism to historic preservation. The program is also STEM-designated, allowing you to apply for an additional 24-month extension of your post-completion optional practical training (OPT) to work in the United States.
Meanwhile, the MS Preservation Practices programme, already a rarity in the nation, will continue to distribute coursework on the history of the built environment paired with applied learning experiences to introduce the interdisciplinary, team-based work of historic preservation practice. It ultimately teaches students to thrive in areas of cultural resource management, community planning, and place-based revitalisation and redevelopment.
Undergraduate and graduate programmes in Real Estate will be the school’s latest additions. Expert insights abound. RWU Trustee and graduate Todd Rechler, chief construction and development officer of RXR Realty, is seeing to it with a generous donation to fast-track the Cummings School’s progression and further reflect on Bill Cummings’s illustrious career.
The multidisciplinary programme will combine various areas of study to produce graduates with skillsets expansive enough to solve the many challenges that exist within the multi-faceted real estate profession.
“Expanding our existing world-class Architecture and Preservation programmes with new depth and breadth of Real Estate education aligns perfectly with Bill’s professional legacy and the entrepreneurial spirit of Bill and the entire Cummings Foundation,” explains President Miaoulis.
“This is a first-in-the-nation programme to offer such a distinctive combination of architecture, real estate, preservation and planning bolstered by further integration with business, legal, construction and engineering expertise across the university.”
Steve White, Dean of the Cummings School of Architecture, believes the expertise of the Cummings Foundation will effortlessly add “immediate distinction” to RWU’s emerging academic offerings in real estate — far more than it already has.
“Cummings Properties has been a valued collaborator with our Architecture design studios, internships and career placements, and with several of our Teaching Firms in Residence for years,” Dean White explains. “The Cummings School will add new significance and potential for our students, faculty, programmes and partners — and for the quality of the environment overall.”
To experience it for yourself, click here to learn more about what RWU’s Master of Architecture can do for your aspirations.