Mark and Carol Willis donate $25,000 to the Michael Sorkin Visiting Distinguished Lecturer Fund

Mark Willis and Carol Willis have donated a gift to the Michael Sorkin Visiting Distinguished Lecturer fund at The City College of New York’s Bernard & Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. The new position will allow a distinguished senior designer or scholar with expertise in urbanism to spend a semester at the Spitzer School and teach a seminar or studio. The lectureship is in keeping with the vision of Michael Sorkin, who passed away suddenly in March 2020.

The donors pledged $25,000 which they offered as a match to inspire contributions of $10,000 or less. Encouraging those who can only make such smaller gifts is both important and welcome.

An author, activist, architecture critic, urbanist, and the head of Michael Sorkin Studios, Sorkin joined the Spitzer School as a professor of architecture and director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design in 2000 and built a competitive program with top academics specializing in urban issues. He founded the annual Mumford Lecture series, which boasted stellar speakers, and, in 2008, Sorkin was made a Distinguished Professor.

The intent of the new lectureship is to encourage conversations about the history of urbanism and the current problems and potentials of urban environments and architecture. The visiting distinguished lecturer will be a scholar-in-residence and work with students as well as deliver the annual Mumford Lecture, continuing the series of distinguished urbanists whom Sorkin invited to speak freely and publicly about the future of cities and the social purposes of architecture.

Sorkin defended equity and justice and asked designers to imagine new ways of configuring urban space, making cities more equitable and conducive to fruitful exchange. The fund ensures that his dedication to equity and excellence thrives at the Spitzer School.

For more information and to show support, please click here.