Tod Williams and Billie Tsien (Doctor of Arts)

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Williams and Tsien received honorary degrees at Dartmouth’s 2019 commencement ceremony.

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien receive honorary degrees from Dartmouth

TOD WILLIAMS and BILLIE TSIEN, as one of the most prominent architectural teams of our time, your marriage of form and function is as strong as your marriage to one another.

Having earned advanced degrees in Architecture from Princeton and UCLA, respectively, your partnership began in 1977 when Billie, you joined Tod’s budding architectural firm. Less than a decade later, you formed a full partnership and have been making “good marks upon this earth” together ever since.

Bold yet restrained, direct yet mysterious, singular yet inclusive, your divergent but complementary perspectives are evident in every structure you create.

From the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia to The Hood Museum right here in Hanover, every one of your designs is rooted in the experience desired. You often describe your approach as “designing from the inside out.” With impeccable attention to detail, you use light, texture and materials to create welcoming spaces that facilitate discovery and pay tribute to what’s inside. You built your architectural practice much the same way, with intrinsic values and character at the foundation of your success. 

At Dartmouth, you were our perfect partners in transforming the Hood Museum from a hidden gem on campus to a jewel in our artistic crown. You not only listened to what we hoped to accomplish, but challenged and elevated our thinking to produce the world-class teaching museum that is The Hood today. Beyond buildings, your legacy endures through the knowledge you impart to aspiring architects in your role as educators at many of our country’s leading academic institutions. 

For your monumental contributions to the global architectural record and your commitment to cultivating the next generation of contemporary architects, Dartmouth is proud to award you the honorary degrees of Doctor of Arts.

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