The New Jersey Institute of Technology is naming its College of Architecture and Design for J. Robert and Barbara Hillier in recognition of a gift from the couple that is the largest donation in the institution’s history.
The J. Robert and Barbara A. Hillier College of Architecture and Design at NJIT was named at a ceremony Tuesday in Weston Hall after NJIT’s undergraduate commencement ceremony at the Prudential Center in Newark.
“NJIT is very forward-thinking in everything that it does,” J. Robert Hillier said. “I believe that architecture needs to look forward as a profession, more today than ever before. This inspired us to think that NJIT would be a good place to support the future of architecture.”
“I think the leadership at NJIT is very special,” Barbara Hillier said. “They have been looking for ways to enhance the programs they have, not just in architecture, but in other disciplines as well. And they really embrace all of their students and provide them with a very strong education from which to launch their careers.”
The gift will provide support for student scholarships, faculty development, state-of-the-art technology, physical space improvements, high-impact educational experiences and curricular innovation.
“The Hilliers are icons in the world of architecture, and we are incredibly proud to have this school carry their name,” NJIT President Joel Bloom said. “Their involvement with and support of NJIT have been extensive and incredibly valuable over the course of many years, and this gift will have a transformative effect on our students, faculty and research within the areas of architecture and design.”
The Hilliers are co-founders and principals of Studio Hillier LLC in Princeton.
Their precedent firm, Hillier Architecture, was the third largest strictly architectural firm in the country and was identified by the magazine Architectural Record as one of the best-managed firms in the United States. Their interdisciplinary design firm counts hospitals, corporate headquarters, universities, independent schools, arts centers and museums, and residential properties among its many projects around the world. The Hilliers have received more than 300 state, national and international design awards for their commitment to place, sustainability and the built environment.
Among their many notable commissions are the 5 million-square-foot Sprint world headquarters in Overland Park, Kan.; the Sydney Harbour Casino in Australia; the Las Colinas Convention Center in Irving, Texas; and the world headquarters for GlaxoSmithKline in London. The firm was also the executive architect and interior designer for the Louis Vuitton Tower on 57th Street in Manhattan. In historical restoration work, they include the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., and the Virginia State Capitol.
During the 1990s, the Hilliers’ firm designed the architecture school at NJIT that will now bear the Hillier name.