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Memoir

James Alvin Chaffers
Regents' Proceedings 163

James A. Chaffers, D.Arch., professor of architecture in the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, will retire from active faculty status on December 31, 2008.

Professor Chaffers received his B.Arch. degree from Southern University in 1964. Following service as a captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1964-68, he came to the University of Michigan, where he received his M.Arch. degree in 1969 and D.Arch. degree in 1971. From 1971-73, he taught at Southern University. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as an assistant professor in 1973 and was promoted to associate professor in 1975 and professor in 1979.

Professor Chaffers was both the first person to graduate from the University of Michigan's new doctoral program in architecture and the first person in the United States to receive a doctoral degree in architecture. As a faculty member, Professor Chaffers served as chair of the Doctoral Program in Architecture (1991-94), interim chair of the Architecture Program (1993-94), a member of the Advisory Board on 163

December Meeting, 2008 Intercollegiate Athletics (1991-94), and founder and director of Taubman College's West African Studio in Ghana (2000-08). He also served for over eight years on the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning Executive Committee.

A creative and gifted teacher and professional, Professor Chaffers worked on a range of projects throughout his career. His work focused on the design links between spatial quality and human spirituality. Since 1997, he has served as the senior design juror and urban design consultant for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C. In 1999 Professor Chaffers was honored with the University's Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award. In recognition of his contributions to the academy and to the architectural profession, he received the President's Award from the American Institute of Architects of Michigan in 2006 and was named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 2007.

The Regents now salute this distinguished scholar by naming James A. Chaffers professor emeritus of architecture.