UDM to honor alumni with Achievement Award, April 11
This spring, University of Detroit Mercy will host the inaugural University-wide celebration, "Spirit of UDM: Alumni Achievement Awards," on Friday, April 11. The event will honor a distinguished alumnus/a from each college/school with an Alumni Achievement Award. Philip (Phil) Kinsella '58 is the award recipient from the School of Architecture.
When he earned a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from U of D in 1958, Kinsella was already working in the industry, having joined the cutting-edge firm of Eero Saarinen and Associates in 1956.
Saarinen had recruited the best young talent from around the world to work at the modest yet immersive office in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The office was known for its large-scale models of buildings and projects, which kept the staff closely connected to the projects and helped clients envision the physical outcome.
When Saarinen developed a brain tumor, his practice was purchased by Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo with the stipulation that Saarinen's name remain with the firm for five years following his death, which occurred in 1961. At the time, there were nearly a dozen major projects in the works, including Dulles International Airport and the St. Louis Gateway Arch. In 1966, the firm name changed to Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates or simply KRJDA.
From that auspicious start, Kinsella excelled at applying his architecture skills to projects from the design stage to contract document and construction. He became a principal at KRJDA in 1982 and continues in that role today. He provides leadership for the firm in securing and managing projects, and is highly regarded for his astute allocation of human and financial resources throughout the multiple phases of each build.
According to the firm, Kinsella has been project architect and managing partner in charge of nearly 2.5 million square feet of museums, visual arts and cultural facilities, as well as more than 12 million square feet of office and multi-use buildings, including adaptive reuse and historical restoration.
KRJDA is well known for projects that include the new American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Convention Centre Dublin and Ford Foundation Headquarters in Manhattan. Co-founder Kevin Roche is a world-renown architect who is a past recipient of the Pritzker Architect Prize.
Kinsella and his wife, Charlotte, live in North Haven, Ct.
Other 2014 award recipients are:
- College of Business Administration – Emil Brolick ’69, ’72, President & CEO, The Wendy’s Company
- School of Dentistry – John DiBiaggio, D.D.S. ’58, Former President Tufts University, Michigan State University, University of Connecticut
- College of Engineering & Science – William C. Young ’64, CEO, Absopure Water Co. and Plastipak Holdings, Chairman, Clean Tech, Inc.
- College of Health Professions – Nancy Susick MSN, RN ’86, Senior Vice President, Beaumont Health System and President, Beaumont Hospital, Troy
- School of Law – Brian Zahra ’87, Justice, Michigan Supreme Court
- College of Liberal Arts & Education - Frederick M. Seibert '70, '73, Owner & President, Preece, Inc.