The Foundation Remembers Recent President, Thomas A. Zimmerman, FAIA

by James B. Durfee, AIA NCARB LEED AP, AFGR 2020 Treasurer


On behalf of the entire Board at The Architectural Foundation of Greater Rochester we grieve the loss of our leader and friend, Tom Zimmerman.


I had known Tom for many years, first when he was a firm principal at SWBR and later when he moved into private practice. I joined AFGR four years ago; several years after Tom first took the leadership reins.

In the nine years Tom was president of the foundation he steadily worked to build and strengthen the organization.


He had a commanding presence: knowledgeable, insistent, convincing…


He was also caring.


He was passionate about the design profession, both its current state and its future.


It was always about the future…


Tom’s dedication to the education and training of our region’s next generation of designers was second to none.


He maintained an acute awareness of the architectural degree programs in our region along with the people guiding them.


He advocated for high standards in our scholarship applicants, which has yielded exceptional awardees.


He was a public servant and an individual of unquestioned stature, having been recognized at the national level for professional service.


It was fitting that Tom receive the 2016 Medal of Distinction from AIA Rochester.


We will miss Tom dearly but his impact on our profession and our community has left an enduring mark.


As AFGR and AIA Rochester forge a closely aligned path forward, we will always owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Zimmerman, FAIA.



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