These alumni are recognized for their work in architecture.


Earl Swensson

Earl Swensson (architecture 1952; M.S. 1953), founder and chairman of Earl Swensson Associates, designed several famous landmarks in Nashville: Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, the largest non-gambling hotel/convention center in the world; Wildhorse Saloon; and the BellSouth Tower, Tennessee’s tallest building.

J. Ambler Johnston

J. Ambler Johnston (mechanical engineering 1904) was inspired by the work of famed neo-Gothic architect Ralph Adams Cram to design some of the basics -- including quadrangles and the use of Hokie Stone -- that are the foundations of Virginia Tech’s architectural style. He also designed Virginia’s State Office Building in Richmond. Johnston and Douglas Southall Freeman purchased many of the Civil War battlefields around Richmond, which later were given to the National Park Service. Two things bear his name: Virginia Tech’s largest residence hall and a fungus, Cylindrochytridium Johnstonii, which was discovered on his estate.

J.R. Hardesty

J.R. Hardesty (engineering 1900) designed "Uncle Sam’s Strong Box," the U.S. gold bullion depository in Fort Knox, Ky. (Did not graduate.)