Rodney Hill: Mentor, friend, somebody I could trust. I could go to him with any kind of wild story or idea.
Rodney Hill is a friend and colleague of Stacell. Since he came to Texas A&M in 1969, he has ascended into the ranks of the most beloved professors in the school’s history. Hill recently retired after a five-decade career at the university.
Dick Davison: Artist, philosopher, teacher—perhaps in that order.
Richard “Dick” Davison ’75 is a former student, friend and colleague of Stacell. When he first returned to Texas A&M to teach, the two artists shared an office. Davison recently retired from a four-decade career as a professor at Texas A&M.
Robert Riggs: He has been the hand on my shoulder throughout my life. He was brilliant and analytical, one of the smartest people I’ve ever met (and I was a correspondent at the White House). He was also a great advice-giver. When I was struggling with questions like, “Who am I? What’s my purpose?” I could walk into his office and have a conversation with him. He wouldn’t tell me what to do; he’d just try to help me understand.
Robert Riggs ’71 is a former student, friend and colleague of Stacell. Today, he is an investigative reporter and a recipient of the College of Architecture’s Outstanding Alumnus Award, three duPont-Columbia Awards and a Peabody Award for Investigative Reporting.
David Dacus: He was a visionary. He asked himself, “What must we do now to get the kind of environment that we wish to have 20 years from now?” And so he developed the programs within the College of Architecture to be a cornucopia of multidisciplinary thought.
David Dacus ’73 is a former student and friend of Stacell. After his time at Texas A&M, he received a Master of Architecture from University of California – Berkeley in 1981. Today, he is a design review consultant for Mountain House, California—a newly developed area in California’s Central Valley that has grown to nearly 25,000 people today. He credits many of the skills he uses to Stacell's teachings.
Jim Foster: He just cared—not only about the students, he cared about people. He was an empathetic, compassionate individual who loved what he did and wanted everyone else to love what they did. You don't see that in everybody.
Jim Foster ’66 is a former student, friend and colleague of Stacell. After graduating with a master’s degree in architecture from Texas A&M, he stayed with the College of Architecture as its assistant dean and worked closely with Stacell as design and architecture curricular paths transitioned. Jim Foster, FAIA is a recipient of the College of Architecture’s Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Patrick Winn: He wasn't afraid to live his life, and he encouraged others to live their lives with passion. Architecture school has a way of making you feel like you're not good enough, and Alan never gave that kind of feeling to any student.
Patrick Winn ’02 is a former student, friend and colleague of Stacell. Today, he is an architect at Total Art and Design in New Braunfels, Texas. In 2002, he led the team that erected the Alan Stacell Memorial Tower, the design for which was based on Stacell’s sketches and inspired by their shared love of tensegrity structures.
David Dacus: He was extremely kind to all levels of people within the program. He could lift up a struggling student, or he could help an accomplished individual get to the next level. He didn't limit himself to the big stars.
Dick Davison: Although I have had some great teachers and colleagues in my career as a student and later as an artist and teacher, Alan is truly the one I would call my “professional father.” At times, when I was between schools or jobs, and was beginning to doubt if I was on the right track, a letter or visit with him would be like a glass of water in the desert. He had a way of encouraging and challenging me at the same time, and he was a perfect artistic role model. There are work habits I have to this day that can be traced directly back to Alan’s own artwork and work ethic as well as his teaching approach.
David Dacus: At the grandest level, it was to just be open. Before speaking, he would wait and hear what everyone had to say. And then he would ever so slightly reframe it so that you might see something in a new way.
Patrick Winn: A piece of advice that he gave me was, “Patrick, don't let them change you.” And I said, “What do you mean? Who are they?” He replied, “You're going to know it when you get there.” That's all he said, and it has been so true during every stage of my life.