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In memory of John Paul Eberhard

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Memories & condolences

In celebration of John Paul Eberhard's 94th birthday, I have taken the time to reflect on how he impacted me. John made dreams possible. Becoming the founding dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Environmental Design and its applied research corollary the Buffalo Organization for Social and Technological Innovation, he made President Johnson's dream of the Great Society and new community development plausible. He transformed the dream into the light of day, explained their sources, compared them with fact, and turned them into possibilities. For all of his acolytes in this adventure, a new transformative way of thinking about possibilities left an indelible debt of gratitude to JPE!

To John's family. I am one of those students that John mentored. For this I will be forever grateful. The following is my tribute to him. Trajectories John Eberhard altered the trajectory of many lives. None benefited more than those he chose to mentor, and I was one of those. The trajectory of his own career may seem chaotic -- with all the moves, position changes, and new initiatives -- but there was always a through line of expanding the architectural profession. This can be seen in his earliest professional work designing, building and selling prefabricated chapels, to his last work connecting neuroscience and architecture. In between those two points is his life as a research fellow, a federal bureaucrat, a dean, an educator, and more. With stubborn entrepreneurial spirit, always pushing against constraints and convention, he expanded and redefined the meaning of architect. He changed the profession by changing the people. Whether by mentorship in the early Buffalo years or in dozens of other settings, John changed the trajectory of a generation of professionals creating and caring for the built environment. John always operated in a sphere larger and more complex than the context of the moment. He saw possibilities and potential not apparent to others. Throughout their careers, his students and colleagues have conveyed his energy, insight and caring to subsequent generations who continue the charge he gave to each of us.

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