Every year at Commencement, Wesleyan recognizes three outstanding teachers with Binswanger Prizes for Excellence in Teaching. These prizes, made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr., Hon. ’85, underscore Wesleyan’s commitment to its scholar-teachers, who are responsible for the University’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education.
Recommendations are solicited from alumni of the last 10 graduating classes, as well as current juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Recipients are chosen by a selection committee of faculty and members of the Alumni Association Executive Committee.
This year, during the 187th Commencement ceremony, Wesleyan honored the following faculty members for their excellence in teaching:
Joseph Siry, the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of the Humanities and professor of art history, joined the Wesleyan faculty in 1984. He received a BA in history from Princeton University, a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in history, theory, and criticism of architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An expert in modern architectural history, Siry is the author of several books, including The Chicago Auditorium Building: Adler and Sullivan’s Architecture and the City(Chicago, 2002), which won the 2003 Society of Architectural Historians’ Alice Davis Hitchcock Award for best book by a North American scholar, and most recently Beth Sholom Synagogue: Frank Lloyd Wright and Modern Religious Architecture (Chicago, 2012), a finalist for a 2013 National Jewish Book Award, Visual Arts category. His current book project, Air-Conditioning and Modern American Architecture, 1890–1970: From Adler and Sullivan to Louis Kahn, is forthcoming from the Pennsylvania State University Press. At Wesleyan, he teaches courses on American and European architecture, contemporary world architecture, and modern architecture and energy. Siry was previously awarded the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 1994. In 2018, he was an inaugural winner of the Wesleyan Prize for Faculty Excellence in Research. He was also honored with the 2015 Wright Spirit Award, Professional Category, from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in recognition of his scholarship on Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture.
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Prof. Siry jhas been a member of SAH since 1982.