MLA Class of 1981 Scholarship

The MLA Class of 1981 Scholarship


In September of 1978, the MLA Class of 1981 met for the first time under the shade of a London Plane tree on Old Main Hill. Since then the members of the Class have parlayed their Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP) education into diverse and distinguished careers. Software Development, Renewable Energy and Climate Change Action, Federal Land Planning, National Park Management and Environmental Consulting have been among the array of diverse careers its members have pursued. None of the members have followed the path of practicing traditional landscape architect per se. However, the education that the Class of 1981 received from the LAEP Department was critical in shaping each member’s careers. Amazingly, that education is best described, in part, by excerpts from the Mission Statement of the LAEP Department:

  • To graduate critical thinkers and creative problem solvers who are equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to practice” … their chosen profession.
  • To support students and faculty to be “engaged in the creative exploration, identification, analysis and appropriate resolution of design, planning and management issues.”
  • To provide “curricula [which] are designed to provide a broad-based education, covering the multi-disciplinary role of the landscape architect in areas of theoretical as well as applied knowledge.”

The Class of 1981 wishes to give something back to future LAEP graduate students, and thereby to sustain the foundation of what the LAEP Department provided it. The Class of 1981 hopes this scholarship will help sustain LAEP and its future graduate students to carry on. Their intent is that other LAEP graduates will contribute to help sustain the legacy of the department that has graduated 100’s of critical thinking problem solvers, and to help create balance in today’s world of social and environmental extremes.


  1. Eligible recipient(s) of the MLA Class of 1981 Scholarship shall:
    a. Have demonstrated unmet financial need;
    b. Be enrolled in the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department;
    c. Be a graduate student in rank.
  2. Recipients of the Scholarship shall be selected on the basis of:
    a. Commitment to learning and improving skills that will strengthen himself/herself and others in the field of landscape architecture and environmental planning;
    b. Demonstrated commitment to solving significant environmental and societal problems through design, planning and/or management;
    c. Demonstrated creativity and leadership from among peers, which reflects the critical thinking exemplified in outstanding LAEP alumni ; and
    d. Integration of multidisciplinary study, knowledge and best practices to pressing problems as identified for investigation in the graduate thesis.

Graduate students will apply via Award Spring in spring semester. The faculty will select a student in a March meeting based on the criteria listed above. The recipient will be announced at the Departmental Awards Banquet in April and the scholarship will be applied to their financial aid the following year.




2011-2012 Betsy Byrne, MLA '13
2012-2013 Matt Coombs, MLA, '14
2014-2015 Carly Klein, MLA, '15
2015-2016 Jennifer Wiseman, MLA, '16
2016-2017 Mary Oliver, MLA '18

For more information, contact Carlos Licon by email: