College of Architecture, Art and Construction

Designing a legacy: Doug Quackenbush ’82, M ’84 pledges endowed professorship to the College of Architecture, Art and Construction


As a young boy, Doug Quackenbush dreamed of becoming a jet pilot and having an exciting career in the skies. A fateful car ride conversation between father and son altered that plan and landed him firmly on the ground. His dad wisely suggested that Doug’s childhood interests in building models and drawing might possibly bode well for a career in architecture. Even though he wasn’t quite sure what that meant, it turned out to be great advice. In high school, Quackenbush learned that there was a great architecture school right here in South Carolina. It was the only college he applied to.

Quackenbush is the founding principal of Quackenbush Architects + Planners (Q+) in Columbia. He provides hands-on leadership to a team of associates and staff who work closely with clients to maintain a strong design culture and exemplary service.

Since Quackenbush launched Q+ in 2004, he and his team have completed more than 400 educational, institutional and corporate projects across South Carolina. In recent years, the firm has focused more exclusively on K-12 and higher education projects that continue to focus on designs that are rooted in the community. The firm has been recognized for its vision and aesthetics and its pursuit of high standards in design and sustainability.

Quackenbush recently pledged major support to Clemson through the P. Douglas Quackenbush Endowed Professorship in Architecture, establishing a professorship within the College of Architecture, Art and Construction. A portion of the endowment will be used annually to supplement the salary of a named faculty position, as well as to provide research support, student assistance, travel and other expenses. Quackenbush says his gift was inspired by his “incredibly rich” experience in Clemson’s architecture program, including his talented class of fellow students and a few exceptional professors who became mentors and lifelong friends. Professors Don Collins, John Jacques and the late Peter Lee made a lasting impact on Quackenbush’s design aesthetic. This professorship reflects his gratitude for that Clemson Experience and for those teachers who helped shape his life and career.

Nothing is more rewarding than when our alumni have the success and desire to give back and strengthen our architecture program. Doug sets the standard for success as a practitioner, a community leader and a member of the Clemson Family, so we are thrilled to be adding an endowed professorship in his name.


As a first-year student, Quackenbush was consumed with studying and working a part-time job to help with expenses. He was proud of the fact that during football weekends, he was avoiding the chaos on campus and working in the library or at his restaurant job. It wasn’t until sophomore year that he went to his first Clemson football game. That was a turning point in how he viewed his college experience and expanded his love of Clemson. Quackenbush didn’t miss another game after that. The celebration of a national championship in 1981 is among his most treasured Clemson memories. Clemson has been an important part of his life ever since.

With a strong history of leadership and service to his community, Quackenbush serves on Clemson’s Board of Visitors and has served on the Clemson Architectural Foundation and the President’s Advisory Board. He has served on the University’s past two capital campaign committees.

He is a member and past president of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He is a LEED accredited professional and currently serves as the Southeast Regional Governor for the Association for Learning Environments.

Closer to home, Quackenbush is a founding board member of the Columbia Design League and has served on the University of South Carolina Board of Dance, as former chair of the Community Design Center of Columbia, on the board of the Dreher Foundation, and as past president of the Shandon Neighborhood Council. He sits on both the Historic Columbia Foundation Board and the board of directors for the 701 Center for Contemporary Art. He is a graduate of Leadership Columbia and Leadership South Carolina.

Doug Quackenbush can now laugh at the fact that he once dreamed of becoming a jet pilot. And that he only applied to one college. There was no backup plan. But it seems that fate, good fortune and a father’s wisdom brought him exactly where he was supposed to be. Now, his legacy will live on through a named endowment to the college that made him an architect and gave him that exciting career that he once dreamed about. But one that he built firmly on the ground.

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