STARKVILLE, Miss.--Dan Camp, founder and developer of Starkville's nationally recognized Cotton District development, and his wife are establishing an endowed fund at Mississippi State.
The Dan and Gemma Camp Workshop in Classical Architecture will be an annual, multi-day workshop at the School of Architecture. While the initial gift will be used to hold the first program during the 2014-15 academic year, the Camps are pledging gifts over five years to establish an endowment that supports future workshops in perpetuity.
Their gift is part of the university's ongoing "Infinite Impact," a $600 million comprehensive capital campaign.
Dan Camp served as Starkville mayor 2005-09.
In addition to architecture majors, the workshop will engage practicing architects in the Golden Triangle community and throughout the Southeast. Topics will include, among others, classical concepts and the impact classical architecture have on the built, social and economic environments of communities, all areas for which Camp has a deep passion.
"Classical studies is an expertise that only a couple of schools in the U.S. currently teach," said Michael Berk, the school's director and F.L. Crane Endowed Professor. "This annual workshop is a way to enhance MSU's curriculum and broaden the options for our students."
The program will be operated by the New York-based Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, a nonprofit organization with 15 chapters nationwide. The institute works to advance traditions in architecture, new urbanism and the arts through education, communication and advocacy.
"We are very excited by this opportunity to partner with MSU," said Mark Ferguson, ICAA board chairman. "MSU joins a growing number of architecture schools that are enhancing the capabilities of their graduates by introducing them to the fundamentals of classical composition.
"These lessons have the greatest impact on future careers when they are offered early," he added.
Berk said architecture majors participating in the workshop will earn ICAA certificates.
"Preservation issues, along with an understanding of classical architecture, are both significant elements in cities around the country, and particularly in towns around our state; certainly concerns that most Mississippi architects will be addressing in their practice," Berk said.
The veteran MSU educator said workshops should give students "an understanding and a credential which will better position them as they move into the job market, as well as help communities to make better connections with the past."
The Camp Workshop is the first partnership between the architecture school and ICAA. Berk said progress continues to organize the state's first official ICAA chapter--an effort spearheaded by Flora-based architect Tracy Ward, a 1987 graduate of the school.
"This joint academic venture with the ICAA and Dan Camp is an incredible opportunity for Mississippi State University and we look forward to our future partnership," Berk said.
Learn more about the School of Architecture at http://caad.msstate.edu.
Complete information on MSU is available at www.msstate.edu.