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Spotlight On ... Tom Butcavage ’82

Tom Butcavage ’82, vice president and leader of the Higher Education Studio at the architecture firm SmithGroupJJR, was elevated to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows.


What does this honor mean to you?

I am grateful for this recognition, for my work based on my belief in the power of innovative architecture to engage and inspire students.

How has Swarthmore shaped your career—and your life?

Kaori Kitao encouraged me to become an architect and provided guidance along the way. I value her friendship. Swarthmore influences my life on a daily basis. I became an avid gardener after having spent much time with Gertrude Wister in her and John Wister’s amazing garden during my undergraduate years.

What advice would you give current Swarthmoreans hoping to follow in your path?

Architecture is a rewarding profession, and if you feel an affinity, it is worth exploring. Each new project provides an opportunity to work closely with new clients and colleagues, and to design for very diverse circumstances.