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Emmanuel-George Vakalo
University Record

Emmanuel-George Vakalo, associate professor of architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, died Oct. 2 in Ann Arbor. He was 54.

Vakalo was born in Athens, Greece, and served in the Royal Greek Air Force.

He received bachelor’s (1970) and master’s (1973) degrees in architecture, and a master’s degree in regional planning (1977) from Cornell University. He earned his doctoral degree from the U-M in 1985.

Vakalo joined the U-M in 1979 as assistant professor of architecture and became associate professor in 1991. His research and teaching interests were in computer modeling and shape grammer. Students in his design studio valued his guidance and ability to listen, and his insistence on rigor and commitment.
He served the College and the University as chair of the Educational Program Committee in 1980–82; and as a member of the Willeke Design Competition Committee in 1985–86, Senate Assembly Rules Committee in 1986–87, Architecture Faculty Search Committee in 1991–92, Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty in 1993–96 and the Rackham Divisional Board in 1997–99. He chaired the doctoral program in architecture in 1994–99. In 1982, he was awarded the Sol King Award for Excellence in Teaching.

“He made a very significant contribution in the master’s and doctoral programs in architecture,” notes Brian Carter, chair of the architecture program. “He was very thoughtful and quite an inspiring mentor for faculty and students. He will be sadly missed by students, faculty and staff.”

“Manos was a man with a big heart,” says Dana L. Buntrock, now a faculty member at the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Buntrock earned master’s degrees in architecture and in urban planning in 1988 and was a graduate student teaching assistant under Vakalo. “He taught me to teach. He knew each of us as individuals.

“Manos never really went home—he carried school with him always, and we appreciated it.”

Buntrock has committed $10,000 to establish the Emmanuel-George Vakalo Endowed Fellowship Fund to support doctoral students. Donations should be sent to the fund in care of Mary Anne Drew, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069.

Vakalo is survived by his wife, Kathleen, of Ann Arbor, and his mother, who lives in Greece. He will be buried in his native land. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.

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