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Drury's Bruce Moore receives AIA award

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

Bruce Moore was scouting for a career when he decided to pursue architecture.

Moore, who is the 1999 Disting-uished Service Award recipient from the American Institute of Architects, was working on becoming an Eagle Scout when he was first asked what he might like to do for a living.

"This was the first time I really thought about it," Moore said. "I chose architecture because it brought together my interest in math and the arts."

Moore is one of a handful of Springfield architects who have received the Distinguished Service Award, and one of even fewer educators to have received it. Moore is the acting director of the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury College and has been a faculty member there since 1985.

The Distinguished Service Award "is basically what its name implies, an award for outstanding service, both to your community and to the association," said former AIA Missouri President Mike Pentecost. Moore was honored for receiving the award at a meeting of the Springfield AIA chapter Feb. 10, and he will be recognized Feb. 23 by the state group.

Moore said his foray into teaching was accidental, but he had loved pedagogy since his first moments on the other side of the chalk.

"In 1982, I finished graduate school, and the economy had gotten really bad. My concentration coordinator got a call from one of his former students who was at Louisiana State University and said they needed someone to teach in the technical areas," Moore said.

That conversation led to an offer which Moore initially refused, but, on second thought, accepted.

"When I took a look around and people with degrees and licenses were on the street then, everywhere I finally was convinced. ...When I got into teaching, I loved it: I loved the pace, the energy, the kids, because these kids go out and produce stuff that, essentially, is built upon a foundation you gave them. I enjoy practicing and I do practice, but teaching is the only place where you get this great opportunity to mold minds and contribute to the industry's future," Moore said.

Since his days as a young teacher (he started at LSU when he was 24), Moore has maintained his focus on the technical aspects of the field of architecture.

"The primary responsibility of architects is life safety doing things for people so that they're safe in their home or work environment. My focus in teaching has been in making those real-world items come back into the classroom," Moore said.

That focus has also led to a strong connection to the AIA for him. The association has helped him keep an eye on what architects are doing in the field, both to bring that information to his students, and to himself as a professional.

Moore has practiced in collaboration with several area architects, Pentecost among them, and has had a part in the design of the Body Works Theater in the Discovery Center, the Diversity of Life Building at the Dickerson Park Zoo and the Musgrave addition to the Springfield Art Museum.

Moore joined the staff of educators at the Hammons School of Architecture in 1985, when the school was new and its curriculum just developing. He came in as an assistant professor and is now a tenured associate professor. He has been acting director of the program for a year and a half.

Moore's fellow professionals point to his ability to communicate with people as one of his strengths.

"He has an ability to communicate that is just not that common. He really has an ability to help people understand," Pentecost said.

Bruce Adibyazdi, an architect with Butler, Rosenbury and Partners, said Moore is "the kind of guy who wants to show you you can still have fun," while you're working. Adibyazdi was a student of Moore's when he taught at LSU, and he remembers the young professor bringing humor into his classroom by printing Doonsbury cartoons at the top of test papers and showing toys he collected to his students.

"I once took a lighting class he was teaching, and we had to build a scale model with lights that would show how we planned to light the building. He taught us to use Christmas lights to light up our models," Adibyazdi said.

Moore said the award is a significant honor for him.

"I can't even describe how great an honor this is for me. When I think of the names of others who have received this award ... it's humbling to be mentioned at the same time as those great architects," Moore said.

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