The Legacy of Design Ducks

DeNorval Unthank Jr. and Margo Grant WalshDeNorval Unthank Jr. and Margo Grant Walsh

Oregon Quarterly, the magazine of the University of Oregon, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. In honor of a century’s worth of coverage, OQ asked the UO community to nominate influential Ducks, from 1919 to the present, including alumni, students, faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of the university. The result is “100 Ducks Who Made A Difference.” Read about the College of Design Ducks who made the list below and find the full list at Oregon Quarterly.

Allan Burns
Art Graduate ’55

The Emmy-winning screenwriter and TV producer can be credited for The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, Dudley Do-Right, the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda. Burns was also the creator of Quaker Oats’ iconic Cap’n Crunch character.

Julia Demichelis
MUrP ’91

The 2007 Lawrence Medalist has spent decades investing in communities in conflict worldwide, from Sierra Leone to Iraq to the former Yugoslav States. With her Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, Demichelis went on to develop programs focusing on counter-terrorism, civil society policy in emerging democracies, and multi-ethnic reconciliation.

James Ivory
BA Fine and Applied Arts ’51

In 2018, Ivory became the oldest person, at 89, to win an Oscar in a competitive category for Best Adapted Screenplay for the critical hit Call Me by Your Name, which Parade has called one of the greatest LGBTQ romance movies of all time. The Lawrence Medalist also directed the films Howards End, The Remains of the Day, and A Room with a View.

Johnpaul Jones
BArch ’67

The Seattle-based architect founded a firm that focuses on community identity and prioritizing the nature and culture of a place. The firm, Jones and Jones Architects, designed the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian located on the National Mall in Washington, DC. In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded him one of ten National Humanities Medals for his work honoring the environment and indigenous traditions. The 1998 recipient of the Lawrence Medal, Jones often collaborates with a fellow architecture alum.

Ellis Lawrence

The co-founder and first dean of the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts (now the College of Design), Lawrence also acted as an architect for the University of Oregon, designing several buildings including the Knight Library, Gerlinger Hall, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. The College of Design’s Lawrence Hall and the Lawrence Medal are both named in his honor. The legacy of Lawrence, the most prominent architect in Oregon in his time, signaled a shift away from the traditional Beaux Arts approach to architecture education to a more progressive and practical approach.

Miguel McKelvey
BArch ’99

McKelvey is the co-founder of WeWork, the innovative communal work space company, for which he is now Chief Creative Officer. According to Forbes, WeWork is valued at $42 billion. McKelvey was born and raised in Eugene and played basketball for the UO.

Lisa Nye
MUrP ’92

Nye, who received a Master in Urban and Regional Planning, went on to become an All-American and Academic All-American cross-country star, winning the 2001 US steeplechase. Now at Bend High School, she’s a teacher, motivator, and head coach for 150 students running cross country and 135 in track.

Rita Radostitz
Grad. Certificate in Nonprofit Management ’04

The human rights attorney and writer zealously defends the Constitution and humanity by representing those facing capital punishment.

DeNorval Unthank Jr.
BArch ’52

The prominent award-winning Oregon architect of schools, public buildings, and business facilities, Unthank Jr. designed Thurston High School and the Lane County Courthouse. A fellow in the American Institute of Architects, he was one of the first African American graduates in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Unthank Jr. was an architecture professor at the UO, and, in 2017, a dormitory—Unthank Hall—was renamed in his honor.

Margo Grant Walsh
BIArch ’60

Recognized as a leader in interior architecture, real estate, and management, she shaped a profession, a design firm, and the lives of countless aspiring designers and students over a 40-year career. Walsh pioneered offices in the US and London as a founding board member for Gensler, a global design and architecture firm. The 2002 Lawrence Medalist also donated to the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art her collection of silver and metalwork, which interior architecture students use for research.