Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 1 - August 25, 1994
Olivio Ferrari, 63
Olivio Ferrari, an alumni distinguished professor at Virginia Tech and director of the Study Abroad program for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, died July 15 at the age of 63 after a brief illness at his home in Carona, Switzerland.
Reflecting on Ferrari's contribution to the college, Dean Patricia K. Edwards said, "Ferrari is not only responsible for developing the strong study-abroad program we have today, but he was instrumental in creating the College of Architecture and Urban Studies during the 1960s. He profoundly influenced many of the faculty members in their teachings and created a love for the profession in the alumni. He will be sadly missed by us all."
Former dean of the college, and current Vice President of Development and University Relations Charles W. Steger called Ferrari "an individual who brought an extraordinary gift to the art of teaching" and said that he "was able to tap the spirit of students and motivate them to realize levels of accomplishment they never suspected were possible."
Ferrari joined the faculty at Virginia Tech in 1965 and within four years had won the university's Wine Award for Teaching Excellence and the Virginia Society, American Institute of Architects teaching award. In 1977, he received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and was inducted into the university's Academy of Teaching Excellence. He was named an alumni distinguished professor in 1982. In 1990, he received the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor Award.
Educated at the Professional School Solothurn and Graduate School of Design in Ulm, Germany, he was a visiting professor at the architecture schools of the University of Colorado, Santa Domingo, Catholic University, Tulane University, and the University of Kentucky.
In 1968, he founded the Study Abroad program for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech and continued to direct the popular program until his death.