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Lawrence J. Leis, FAIA

  • 1.  Lawrence J. Leis, FAIA

    Posted 05-28-2020 18:33
    This past March, we lost a true gentleman and servant leader of the Institute and the College of Fellows, Larry Leis, FAIA. He served as our 43rd Chancellor and presided over the Investiture here in Las Vegas back in 2005. I'd like to share with you his charge to the Class of '05 which is just as powerful today as it was 14 years ago: "Fellowship within the American Institute of Architects is one of the most important honors an architect can receive. This achievement should not be viewed as an end, but rather just the beginning of the contributions you will continue to make to the College of Fellows, to your firm, to your profession, and to your community. It is inherent in the work of the architect that success is shared with the greater society. As leaders of the profession, you are each uniquely charged to ensure that design excellence and environmental sensibility are passed on to succeeding generations. As you go forward today as exemplary role models and as mentors within our profession, you represent what it means to take responsibility for excellence and distinction in the architectural profession; to create as well as to preserve that which is meaningful to our profession."

    Larry was a friend and colleague. He will be missed but never forgotten!


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    Edward Vance, FAIA
    2019 Chancellor
    Founder & CEO
    EV&A Architects, Inc.
    Las Vegas NV
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  • 2.  RE: Lawrence J. Leis, FAIA

    Posted 05-29-2020 17:33
    Ed,
    Thanks for letting us know that we've lost Larry. He was a try gentleman who led the College with great kindness and grace. I will never forget the Convocation Dinner Larry led at the 2005 Convention in Las Vegas. As the lights went down in the ballroom filled with the Class of '05, their guests and the rest of the Fellows, the music can up, a spotlight came on and out bounded Larry in "full Elvis" costume! Gold jacket, the sunglasses and pompadour wig! Well.....the entire crowd went wild! Everyone on their feet, roaring with laughter. When Larry leaned into the mic, with his best Elvis impersonation, to say "Thank you very much" he got another great roar from the crowd. The evening up from there.

    We will miss Larry.

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    [RK] [Stewart] [FAIA]
    [2007 AIA President]
    [RK Stewart Consultants]
    [Salt Lake City] [UT]
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  • 3.  RE: Lawrence J. Leis, FAIA

    Posted 05-30-2020 06:53
    We here in the Ohio Valley Region ... composed of Indiana, Ohio and Larry's beloved, home state of Kentucky ... of the AIA and its College of Fellows deeply grieve the loss of Larry Leis, FAIA.  A true gentleman and outstanding professional, Larry always had that big smile when meeting a long-standing colleague or when I  would introduce him to one of my students at our bi-state convention.  Those of us who were present will never forget his Elvis impersonation at the College of Fellows gala in Las Vegas when Larry was Chancellor.  Who else but Larry could pull that off?

    Rest well my friend.  You will always be with us in that special spirit you shared with all of us.
    Ciao,
    Tony Costello, FAIA
    Ohio Valley College of Fellows Regional Representative

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    Tony Costello, FAIA
    Irving Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Architecture, Ball State University and
    Principal, Costello + Associates
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  • 4.  RE: Lawrence J. Leis, FAIA

    Posted 05-30-2020 09:37
    I am so distressed to hear this.  Larry was a dear friend, going all the way back to our time together on the AIA Board, and his voice was always powerful, yet friendly and helpful.  He also had this wonderful sense of humor.  I'll never forget the night of the COF Invocation Dinner at the Lakes at Las Vegas when he was Chancellor... he came with an Elvis wig and sunglasses in a paper bag and when he rose to begin his congratulatory message, he pulled the wig and glasses out of the bag, put them on and announced, "Elvis has left the building!"  It was truly hilarious, although some thought it was a bit overboard.  But that was Larry.  He took his commitment to the AIA and the COF very seriously but he could never walk away from looking at the lighter side of life and flashing that engaging smile...  God speed, Larry, and thank you for all you did for me, for the AIA and for the AIA College of Fellows.  Your legacy will never be forgotten...

    Jess Holmes, FAIA

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    Jess Holmes FAIA
    Jess Holmes, FAIA, LLC
    Artesia NM
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