Art Kaha's 80th Birthday! Illinois School of Architecture

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Art Kaha is celebrating his 80th Birthday on April 4th, 2019. He has been engaged with thousands of students and colleagues over his career - please help him celebrate by sharing your memories and good wishes!
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  • Celebrate 80!

    Happy Happy Birthday! 

    You were the very first to welcome me to the Track 3 program so many years ago.  You're support and guidance made a very positive impact when I wasn't sure if architecture was a good fit coming from a technical theatre and scene design background.  It was a good fit, and still continues to be today. 

    Thank you for all that you do!  

    Blessings on your Birthday and many more to come!

    Michelle (Brancaleone) Rumsa (1993 M Arch grad)                                                      PS: I also married a U of I graduate, Arunas Rumsa, who also has an Illini M ARCH 

  • Happy Birthday Art!

    During your tenure at the U of I, countless students knew that they had an advocate,  someone they could talk to, at the school of architecture. This security helped us navigate the challenges of architecture school while learning to become adults.  I can't remember the number of times during conversations in school and after graduating someone uttered the phrase: "Talk to Art Kaha".  Happy birthday to a man who made a difference to so many!

  • Happy Birthday Art!

    Dear Art - Happy (belated) Birthday!  If i know anyone who would welcome belated greetings (and projects!) it's you. Thanks for inspiration and many wonderful memories. Celebrate for the month - with the Beatles

  • Happy Birthday, Art!


    It's hard to believe that 35 years have gone by since you first shared your gifts of time, talent, and wisdom in one of my first design juries at Illinois. Thanks in part to you, I think so fondly with gratitude and humor of my time at Illinois, as a student and later as a professional. It's breathtaking to think of the many thousands who share those same gifts. Alumni of the School of Architecture at Illinois have a strong bond to the school that other schools lack. You have been a huge contributor in building that bond over your 45 years there. You are an example for my own professional work in teaching, architecture, and community outreach. Celebrating your birthday, as well as you and Geri. What a life well-lived! 

    Much love and happiness, always.

  • Happy Birthday!

    Happy Birthday! Remembering all of your hospitality and great conversations back when I was a grad assistant in computing in the late 90's. Thank you for all you've done for so many of us over the years! All the best!

  • Visiting Assistant Professor

    Happy Birthday Art!  My first memory of you is as a reviewer on one of my undergraduate projects back in the 70's, where you made a distinct impression as a kind and helpful member of the faculty, a sentiment that has been reinforced over and over in the years since.  But what I will always be grateful for is the council you gave me when I was at a professional crossroads in the 90's.  We met for lunch at the old White Horse Inn on Green St. and talked about possible career directions.  As a result, a couple of years later I was contacted by the School of Architecture with and offer to teach design.  I gladly accepted, and the ensuing twenty years as a part time design instructor at Illinois turned out to be a very important and fulfilling part of my career and life.  I will be forever thankful!

  • Assoc. VP @ HGA Architects and Engineers

    Art was one of my favorite professors. He embodies grace, style, kindness and wisdom. He and I co-created Rickernotes back in the 1980's. Its first incarnation was created on a TYPEWRITER.  I remember our first migration to the then-miraculous Word Processor. I am so glad that it continues in its current incarnation in 2019. That is a 30-year run! Art--HAPPY BIRTHDAY and a fond embrace from an old friend, Nick.  P.S. I remember that Neil Sheehan, leader of Sheehan Nagle Hartray, crafted the first Rickerboxes. If those still exist, someone should give one to Art!

  • Happy birthday, Art!

    Happy birthday, Art! I hope you have a wonderful year and I wish I could be there in person to extend my best wishes.  Thank you for inspiring so many aspiring architects! You were a fantastic role model for all of us.  Cheers to you! - Mary Stosur Shaffer

  • Architect

    A Uof I classmate, a school roommate, a frequent supper guest, a house guest (for over 2 months), a canoe mate, a coworker, a business partner until you left for the greater good of teaching, And although you still have trouble accepting I beat you in a foot race when we were 20 something, you remain, after nearly 60 years, our most trusted and best friend.      Kent and Richey


  • Happy Birthday!

    It was good to hear from you recently on LinkedIn. Brought back some good memories of the days at U of I!

  • Happy birthday, Art!

    Happy Birthday, Art! From being my guidance counselor, to working with you at New Student Registration, you have been an inspiration of patience, calmness and kindness. Wishing you a wonderful day! Hope to run into you soon! 🎂

  • Art's Birthday

    Hi Art,

    It's so hard to comprehend how fast time flies.  I want you to know that you were and are one of my favorite teachers.  Your kindness, patience and guidence proved inspiring.

    I hope this birthday brings you health and joy.  Have a very, very Happy Birthday with many more to come.


    Andrea Beizer

  • One of the Greatest Architectural Guides of All Time

    Congratulations Art! Have a wonderful birthday and enjoy that much needed retirement. It seems like just yesterday we met up with you on the quad with membres of the Class of '89. I thought about it, that was 10 years ago. We truly had a great counselor in you as we journeyed forward. Thank you Art.

  • Happy 80th Birthday Art to a wonderful person!

    Have a fantastic birthday!

  • Happy Birthday Prof. Kaha

    Wishing you very happy 80th birthday.

  • Professor

    Happy Birthday, Art!

  • Our Fraternity Initiation


    God bless you and Happy Birthday!!

    You & Terri were the best part of my college memories. Remember our Alpha Rho Chi initiation weekend?

  • Happy birthday Professor Kaha!

    Hope you have a fantastic 80th!

  • Great TEacher's Birthday!

    Happy Birthday Art! I was your first MArch Thesis Design Advisee in the fall of 1974.  You and Porf. John Replinger were on my Housing Concentration's thesis design committee. Thank you and Happy Birthday!

    Hofu Wu, Arch.D., FAIA  President, Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society in Architecture and Allied Arts


    Have a wonderful birthday Professor Kaha! You have provided so many with wonderful memories.  You managed to be kind, constructively critical, and were a great leader.

  • Happy 80th!

    Happy Birthday Art! I still have good memories of being one of your design studio TA's in the early 80's. Thank you for your kind dedication to your students and to the School of Architecture over the years. Best wishes on your 80th birthday!

  • Happy Birthday Mr. Kaha!

    I just wanted to say happy birthday to the man that helped so many of us get to and through architecture school at U of I. Although I'm no longer in the profession, your skill as a teacher, both challenging students with compassion has served me well as a high school math teacher. Thank you sir!

  • Mr.

    Happy Birthday Art.

  • Happy 80th Birthday, Art!


    You were much more than an advisor and instructor to us.  You were an advocate and an ally.  We all knew you'd do whatever you could to help us.

    Thanks again for all the help and mentoring you've given to so many through the years.

    Brad Klein, AIA, LEED AP

    Class of 1990

  • A very happy day to you, Art.

    Art - it's clear from the gathered comments through this blog that my college life and career are not the only ones to have benefitted from association and friendship with you. I hope the collected good wishes add up to making this a truly happy day of celebration for you.



  • Happy Birthday

    Happy Birthday Professor Kaha!
  • Happy Birthday Art!!!

    Art, you were such a supportive presence for all of us during our time at the Uof I!  The mentorship, scholarships, summer jobs, teaching positions and general counsel--all made an incredible difference in my education.  This, along with your amazing memory for little things about each of us also made us feel cared for in a way that doesn't always happen at a large University.  THANK YOU for the difference you have made in my--and all of our--lives. you impact reaches far far beyond the campus!

    Much Love--Ruth

  • Happy Birthday!

    As a transfer student from the College of Engineering to the School of Architecture, Art Kaha was the first person I met.  From that point forward I always felt completely welcomed.  What a great man, doing a job he was clearly the best at.  I wish you all the happiness in the world.  Happy 80th Birthday!

  • Happy 80th Birthday Professor Kaha!!!


    A quick shout out to all that you have done for every student that has come to know you. As a student from Southern Illinois (Pinckneyville), I appreciate all that you did to help me feel welcomed into not just the School of Architecture but also into Uof I.  As my advisor, you guided me through my studies to ensure the best possible outcome.  Since my graduation in 1996, I have become a licensed architect, the first female president of the CAPPA organization and currently serve as the Director of Facilitie Management at Southeast Missouri State.  You played a huge part in my educational success which in turn has translated into a successful career.    Thank you so much for all that you did for me and all that you continue to do for so many other students.  I wish you the best birthday ever!!!!  

  • Happy 80th!

    Happy Birthday, Professor Kaha! Your name will always be synonymous with my memories of time spent as an architecture student at U of I.

  • **80** 🎈🎈

    It’s been over 30 years since I’ve set foot in Flagg Hall. One of my fondest memories at UIUC is having you as my first arch studio professor. Your gentle demeanor and nurturing teaching style gave me confidence which helped break my shyness. Thank you. I will also be forever grateful to you for suggesting that I participate in the Versailles program. That year abroad made such a big impact - both personally and professionally! Thank you for your guidance in and out of the classroom. 

    Happy 80th birthday, Professor Kaha. Enjoy this special year and have a wonderful celebration!!




    p.s. I hope your health has improved and that you are 100% rid of Spinal Stenosis!!!

  • Happy Birthday Prof. Kaha!

    Happy Birthday to a man who has such dedication and passion for his students! I have such fond memories of studio with him and can still picture him riding his bike to class! I still have my shirt that embodied how the students felt about him...he REPRESENTS our profession to a "T", lol.

  • Thanks for the memories, Prof. Kaha!

    You were truly inspirational as a professor and as a wonderful human being!   If my recollection is correct, I think you also had the best two-handed shot (or was that two-handed- underhand free throw) on the courts.   Not for college days alone!  ML  

  • Happy Birthday to Amazing Art


    You have been an inspiration to me.  I remember bringing a high school student from Cunningham Home who was interested in architecture, to a playground construction day at Orchard Downs in the mid 1970's.  Although he was very timid around the college students, you took the time to speak with him to put him at ease.  You have a wonderful way of accepting all people as they are, and inspiring them to stretch their boundaries to accomplish more than they ever anticipated.  As I near my "first" retirement this spring, I think of all you accomplished after your "first" AND your "second" retirements.  Wishing you all the best!!!  With fond memories, Doris Reeser

  • Happy Birthday Art!!!


    Thanks for the years of support and friendship while I was at UIUC!

    Whether it was for the Student Advisory Council, the Woodshop, or my own academics, you were always a great advocate, voice of reason, and most importantly: a friend.

    It is because of people like you that the School of Architecture and its graduates are  successful!

    Happy 80th Birthday, and best wishes for many more!


    Scott Nacheman ('95)


  • The Gentle Giant

    Happy, Happy Birthday Art!

    You were a great teacher and introduced us to Architecture Freshman year in the best way - before we all got murdered Sophmore year with the workload!

    Thank you so much for how you carried yourself and most importantly how you treated us new, neophyte Architecture Students.

    Best Birthday Wishes Art - do something nice for yourself on your birthday!

    Chris Coyne, 1987-1991

  • Happy Birthday Art!

    I've had the great good fortune to know Art since 1976 when he was one of my favorite professors. Art taught methe  human side of architecture, something that has been a central portion of my practice ever since. I have also had the wonderful opportunity to serve as faculty with Art for many years. During this time his commitment and compassion for students his been a constant. I have the greatest admiration for Art, his teaching, his practice and the way he has lived his life. Thanks Art!

  • Happy Birthday, Art

    As a graduate of the School of Architecture in 1964 I missed your tenure, but it sounds like I should have stuck around for it. Us elders have to keep the batteries charged; it looks like you're doing a good job of it. May you have many more years of professional satisfaction and personal gratification.

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY PROFESSOR KAHA!!! Thank you for all the great memories...🎊🎂🎈🎂🎉

    I hope your 80th Birthday is every bit as amazing as you are! You made being a Track 3 student a great experience and you made the School of Architecture feel like “home”! Thank you and I’m wishing you the Happiest of ALL Birthdays to you! 

  • Happy Birthday, Prof. Kaha!!

    Thank you for your many years of service, for listening, & your kindness to your students.

  • Happy Birthday Prof Kaha

    Happy Birthday and Best Wishes Prof Kaha....thank you for your committment to educating us and furthering our profession.

  • Awesome Art!

    Happy 80 to the man who made Birkenstock’s cool, not to mention that sweet copy of Vitruvius’ 10 books! You made a huge difference to so many, including myself, Art! Kudos. 

  • Happy Birthday Art!


    I was a student 1976-78. 40 years later I still have fond memories of you.

    You didn't just teach design. You taught me how to think and solve problems.

    You were my most influential professor at U of I.

    Thank you for that ...and Happy Birthday.




  • Happy Birthday, Professor Kaha!

    Happy 80th Birthday, Professor Kaha!

    -from your student of 1984

  • Happy Birthday!

    Happy Birthday! I always remember how kind and patient you were.

  • Thanks!

    Art is the best.  Happy Birthday and thanks for everything you have done for the students at UIUC School of Architecture!

  • Happy Birthday, Art!

    May this day bring you love and good wishes. Happy Birthday!