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DCP90: 1980-89

October 05, 2015

What was it like to be at DCP in the 1980s? To help us answer that question, we have a few alumni memories to share:

1) David S. Robertson, BDes 1987

Senior Structures Project: 1987 Tensile Structure



2) Rosser Pace, BCN 1984

Favorite faculty or staff: Jack “No Slack” Martin
Most memorable project: Estimating – Clearwater City Hall
Favorite place on campus: “The Wall” great place to people watch between classes.



3) Dave Davis, BDes 1986

DCP Story: Studio was more than individual design work, it was training for our future lives working in teams. And team dynamics are never easy. In addition to teaching us his perspective drawing technique (that I use to this day) Harry Merritt introduced our studio to the Pareto Principle, otherwise known as the 80-20 rule.

The day had turned into night and then the following morning, and most of us worked through it all on the base model that we planned to use for the studio’s work that semester. But there were one or two classmates that had other places to be, and all the coffee and Skeeters Big Biscuits seemed to bring out the worst in the rest of us as we complained to Harry about our plight. That’s when the Pareto Principle came out. Without lecturing us on the selfishness of our whining, or accepting our complaints, he simply commenced to name about twenty different things that met the Principle’s concept. He started with, “20 percent of the items on the menu are ordered by 80 percent of the people” and his thoughts continued until he finally said, “…and 20 percent of the people in this world do 80 percent of the work and the sooner you simply accept that fact and get on with it, the sooner we get this model finished.”

And that was that. But the philosophy he introduced us to was one of the more lasting notions of my architectural education. I shared this story today as one of my favorites, as I complete studies to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. And I can honestly say that Harry’s lesson, along with the design education I received at the UF College of Architecture, has served me well through a Naval Career and a second career as a Nurse.

I see that one of Harry’s Gainesville homes has been recommended for addition to the National Register of Historic Places. If there can be only one of our professors who obtain that honor, it ought to be Harry. Thanks again Harry Merritt for the design education and more importantly the life’s lessons you shared with us.


DCP facts
- Dean(s):
Mark T. Jaroszewicz (1976-1986)
Anthony J. Catanese, Ph.D. (1986-1989)

1982: Preservation Institute: Caribbean began (PI:C)
1983: Vicenza Institute of Architecture started
1984: The Design Exploration Program established
1984: GeoPlan, the Geo-Facilities Planning and Information Research Center, was established in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning within the College of Architecture.
1986: In July, Dr. Anthony J. Catanese was appointed Dean and served until Dec. 31, 1989, when he left to assume the Presidency of Florida Atlantic University
1988: A doctoral program in architecture and building construction was initiated and later expanded to include all academic units
1989: Florida legislature establishes the Center for Affordable Housing at UF’s Rinker School of Construction Management, which is later renamed to the Shimberg Center
1989: The School of Building Construction was renamed the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction

DCP Enrollment

1980: 982
1981: 867
1982: 868
1983: 882
1984: 941
1985: 926
1986: 897
1987: 879
1988: 887
1989: 896

UF facts

- President(s)
Robert Q. Marston (1974-84)
Marshall M. Criser, Jr. (1984-89)
Interim: Robert A. Bryan (1989-90)

Global events

1981: First woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court and the PC ws introduced by IBM
1985: First Internet domain name is registered
1989: The World Wide Web is invented