Thanks to the William and Anne Bortz Hajjar Memorial Scholarship, selected students in third year will receive a financial scholarship to offset the cost of their fourth year academic study in Rome, Italy. This scholarship honors the memory and talents of Bill Hajjar, a professor and senior design critic in the Penn State architecture department from 1946 to 1965.
This year's competition winners are John Shinogle, Ketelyn Stuewe, Jordan Swartz, and Mark Yeakey – each will receive the scholarship funding for study abroad. Andrew Ahr, Hannah Breidenbaugh, Lindsay Krause, and Stephanie Rakiec each received Honorable Mention in the competition.
Hajjar was committed to the problem-solving aspects of design. He was also one of the first professors at Penn State to take students abroad because he believed it was critically important to their education as architects. In 2001, family and friends raised more than $80,000 in Hajjar's name to set up a charitable trust. This fund provides approximately $4,000 each year toward the tuition expenses of three or more students. A third year design competition is used to determine these awards. It is held at the beginning of every spring semester.
Of his father Hajjar's son Mark, an architect himself, said, "As a teacher, he championed the creative spirit in each student, encouraging him or her to risk as much as they had to reach their fullest potential. He was tireless on their behalf. He wanted them to be as excited as he was about each and every discovery they made as they grew through their education and many of his students took away that shared enthusiasm into their lives with thanks to him through the work they have done." Mark Hajjar recalled that while his father and mother loved to travel, they often referred to their time in State College as "our happiest years." While teaching at Penn State, Hajjar built homes for generations of families. "They were simple, strong modern designs for the time," Mark continued, "and they brought the spirit of the modern times to the town."
For more information on Hajjar's houses, visit: