March 29, 2022
The University of Washington today announced the creation of Family Dean John and Rosalind Jacobi in the College of Built Environments, furthering the school’s vision of a fairer and more beautiful world for all.
Dean of Seattle real estate icons and founders of Windermere Real Estate Co. provides the financial resources that expand the college’s ability to solve complex problems at the crossroads of the built and natural worlds that have profound impacts on humanity .
“This visionary leadership support from the College of Built Environments will dramatically improve teaching, learning and innovation in the service of creating access to livable spaces for all. We are so grateful to the Jacobi family for investing in justice and equity through this forward-looking deanship,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce.
By establishing the Dean, the Jacobi family expands their commitment originally announced in 2016. The result provides the College of Built Environments with endowed funds that generate nearly $300,000 annually, which the Dean will use to lead the college in its work to create a more equitable built world.
The College of Built Environments houses five departments: Architecture, Construction Management, Landscape Architecture, Real Estate, and Urban Design and Planning. By creating future leaders in these fields, the UW can influence the trajectories of climate change, social justice, and human health.
“I believe that students are at the heart of our college,” said Renee Cheng, the dean of the college since 2019 who will now be the first endowed dean of the Jacobi family. “I’m excited to use Family Dean John and Rosalind Jacobi to build on the college’s success and expand access to integrated student advising, mentorship and internship programs across the college.”
A Dean for the College of Built Environments connects the Jacobi family’s passion for education and the desire to solve pressing issues facing society, beginning with the conceptual threads of home and community, with their commitment towards diversity in all related fields. Through the creation of this endowed deanship, the Jacobi family aims to support university leaders who share their values and can orchestrate positive action and change.
“Improving the way built environments are designed, designed and built is essential for a better future for all,” Cheng said. “With committed partners and supporters like John and Rosalind Jacobi, the college will be more nimble, more forward thinking, and have an even greater impact on our students and faculty, in practice and in our community. This endowed deanship reflects a shared commitment by the Jacobi family and all of our faculty and staff to nurture and challenge current and future generations of students.
The Jacobi family has a long history of supporting UW, beginning in 1987 with the establishment of the Windermere Cup, the iconic Spring Rowing Regatta, and extending to scholarships in both men’s and women’s crews, and numerous gifts to other UW intercollegiate athletic programs. The generosity of the Jacobis supported academic programs at the School of Art + Art History + Design; the College of Education; UW Medicine; the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences; the Department of Communication; and more. More recently, their desire to help students led to the launch in 2021 of the aspire College of Built Environments program, which focuses on increasing diversity within the real estate profession and the long-term goal of increasing individual prosperity by making homeownership accessible to more people .
“Through the ingenuity and perseverance of Dean Cheng, we have become very interested and therefore committed to working with programs within the College of Built Environments that will promote different aspects of education that students do not might never have been on display,” John and Rosalind Jacobi said. in a joint statement. “In our opinion, the Deanship will contribute greatly to helping students discover different disciplines.”
The deanship is also a way to honor the previous generation, John and Rosalind’s parents, who attended UW during the Great Depression. Rosalind’s mother spent 40 years as an educator, and John’s father became an advertising executive and taught classes at UW.
“We only wish our parents were alive to experience this involvement with us,” the Jacobis said.
John Jacobi grew up in the shadow of the UW in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood, and in addition to John and Rosalind’s parents, his wife and children are also alumni. Although he began studying at UW more than six decades ago, his college career was set back by a stint in the US Coast Guard, marriage, and the need to support six children. He left school a few credit hours before graduation. Sixty-one years later, he returned to complete his coursework and graduated from the UW Foster School of Business in 2020.
Started by John Jacobi in Seattle’s Windermere neighborhood in the early 1970s, today over 7,000 Windermere Real Estate Co. agents work from 300 offices in a network that spans much of the western United States and into Mexico. It is one of the largest real estate brands in the country.
The College of Built Environments is at the forefront of a global discourse increasingly focused on the process of urbanization, globalization and sustainable development. The work of the College has immediate and tangible impacts in the physical world and implications for urban systems, human health, environmental resilience, social equity and economic vitality.
For more information on the College of Built Environments, visit this page.
Tag(s): College of Built Environments • Renee Cheng