We had the opportunity to speak with Dr. John F. Crowley III about his story and why he gives to the Gibbs College of Architecture (GCA). Dr. Crowley, a graduate of OU’s Master of Regional and City Planning Program, is a professor in the College of Environment and Design at the University of Georgia.

What inspired your gift to the GCA?

I am fortunate to give back to a wonderful program at the University of Oklahoma (OU).

What do you hope to support with your gift?

The Masters in Regional and City Planning (MRCP) scholarships.

What excited you about current efforts/initiatives at GCA?

The assemblage of the professional degrees in design, planning, and construction.

What type of legacy would you like to leave? How does your gift to GCA help support this legacy?

The legacies I intend to leave are trails of giving back to what I believe in: students, great cities, the environment, and Latin America. GCA is one of the trail markers that I will continue to grow each year.

We also asked Dr. Crowley to share a bit about his time at OU and where he is now.

Which program did you graduate from?

I received my Bachelor’s in History of Arts and Sciences in 1970 and my Masters in Regional and City Planning of Arts and Sciences in 1973 from OU. This was before the Gibbs College of Architecture was started. Lastly, I graduated from OU with a Ph.D. in Geography (Urban and Hydrology) in 1977.

What are you most proud of from your time at OU and beyond?

I was drafted in the United States Army in 1965 to become an Arabic Linguist Non-Commissioned Officer and later a Field Artillery Officer. I came to OU in 1969 because it was the nearest university to Ft. Sill.

What role are you in now? How did you arrive at your current role?

I am a former Dean and Founder of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) professional graduate degree in Environmental Planning and Design (MEPD), which is becoming the Masters of Urban Planning and Design (MUPD). I now teach Masters and Doctoral students as a professor at UGA.

What was it like transitioning out of university and into work-life?

At the time I graduated, I previously had 200 credits from five institutions and four years in the military (prior to OU). While I was studying for the MRCP, I was a teaching assistant, solely responsible for OU’s freshman requirement course in Art History. When I was studying for my Ph.D., after graduating with MRCP, I was the Planning Director for Seminole, Oklahoma. Upon completion of the Ph.D., I became the Chief Planner for the Oklahoma State Park and Lodge System. I’d say I had an integrated transition from university into work-life.