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Retirement Celebration raises funds for the Terry Rothgeb Scholarship Endowment

December 5, 2011   |   Alumni, Faculty, School

Project Credits: Students, alumni, and faculty


University of Kentucky College of Design
School of Interior Design

Friends, colleagues, faculty, and students celebrated Terry Rothgeb's career, life and retirement at a dinner on Friday, December 2 at the University of Kentucky Hilary J. Boone Center. 

During the dinner several guest speakers reminisced about Terry's career, teaching style, and his incredible ability to remember details about their studio, classmates, and what they were wearing the first time he met them. Students shared stories about his provocative teaching style, and how would never provide them with a direct answer to their questions. Alumni shared how pivotal Terry was in helping them begin their careers. And, Terry's colleagues celebrated his ability to create an environment of esprit de corps, the faculty road trips he organized, and his incredible influence on the profession of interior design. Some of the speakers included:

Robin Lambert – Class of 2012 - Fourth year Interior Design Student
Renee Conde – Class of 2007 - Corporate Image & Design Associate – Alltech
Chris Estes – Class of 1991 - Interior Design Principal – EOP Architects
Lu Ann Homes – Class of 1979 – Senior Business Development Manager – Haworth
Ann Dickson – Director of the School of Interior Design – University of Kentucky

The event was also organized to raise funds for the Terry Rothgeb Scholarship Endowment making it the largest of its kind in the School of Interior Design. If you would like to contribute to the endowment please follow this link.

Terry Rothgeb's bio

Terry D. Rothgeb was “creative by nature” in his youth. He enjoyed art and creativity in school and at sixteen designed a residence for his parents, which was built on the family homestead in Illinois. He went to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale to study design. R. Buckminister Fuller was on staff and provided the program with great visibility. After graduating from SIU and completing graduate work at the University of Missouri, Columbia, Rothgeb accepted a teaching position at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

In 1973 Terry was hired by the University of Kentucky to teach in the Department of Housing and Interior Design. The chair of the department, Richard A. Rankin, and Dean Marjorie Stewart were instrumental in enticing Rothgeb away from Virginia Commonwealth University. Rothgeb moved through the ranks and served two, six-year terms as chair of the Department of Human Environment. He has experienced five Presidents and seven Deans in his UK career of thirty-eight years.

The design studios, especially the first year design classes, were always a favorite teaching assignment. That is where, as instructor, he could see results from students with limited skills, discovering and exploring the creative design process. Rothgeb covered all levels of studios in addition to graduate classes during his tenure. Study tours to various European countries were another rewarding aspect of teaching.

In addition to his UK responsibilities, Professor Rothgeb was a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Institute of Business Designers, Interior Design Educators Council, and served the Foundation for Interior Design Education Research on the Board of Visitors.

His professional work has included new construction and adaptive-use projects related to both commercial and residential environments. Terry has recieved many awards including the School of Interior Design Outstanding Faculty Award 2009, The School of Interior Design Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award 2008, and the American Society of Interior Designers Silver Award presented on ASID’s 25th Anniversary by the National President for outstanding leadership in the STEP Program 2005. Other honors include an ASID Roast, a Special Friend Award by the Lexington Housing Authority 1995, and the Teacher of the Year, presented by the ASID University of Kentucky Student Association, 1992. Additional recognition included being named to Outstanding Educators of America and commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Martha Layne Collins.

Terry is now ready to explore with creativity and vigor the next phase of his career.