Remembering emeritus professor of architecture, tom mccoy

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design community is mourning the death of Professor Emeritus Thomas McCoy. He died April 19, 2018, at age 82. 

“Professor McCoy was a committed faculty member who inspired numerous students during his many years of service to KU, and I am saddened to learn of his death. On behalf of the entire university, I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who came to know him during his career,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod. 

McCoy was born in Lawrence, grew up in Topeka and graduated from Topeka High School. He attended KU where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi, then transferred to the University of Illinois where he graduated with a degree in architecture in 1959.  

After returning to Kansas City in 1968, he worked for Kivett & Myers and later, in 1972, started his own firm of McCoy Hutchison Stone with Stuart Hutchison and Terrence Stone. This same year, McCoy began teaching at KU. 

“Tom was a unique blend of practitioner and educator who brought his real-world experience to bear on everything he did in the school,” said Kent Spreckelmeyer, professor of architecture.  

Dean Emeritus John Gaunt noted that McCoy was one of the first educators in architecture to examine the cross-section between real-world experience and the classroom. He initiated the "Green Architecture" course where careful consideration is given to appropriate land use and orientation, efficient use of resources, health issues, and construction and operation economy. 

“His down-to-earth humor combined with his practical experience in architecture and a natural ability to teach made Tom a great asset to the school and its students, particularly at a time of growing need for the closer relationship of practice and education,” Gaunt said.  

McCoy continued his teaching career at KU for the next 28 years, and he was a member of the American Institute of Architects.  

“His talent as an architect and his generosity as a teacher/mentor speak for themselves,” said Steve Padget, associate professor of architecture.  

A Celebration of Life service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 28, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vermont St., with a reception to follow. A private burial will be held prior to the service. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials in McCoy's honor may be made to KU Endowment for the Griffin McCoy Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044 or 785-832-7343. Online condolences can be posted at