Michael Savala

Michael Savala, BA14 with a major in Architecture
The Anabeth and John Weil Scholar
The Washington-DuBois Scholar

My interest in architecture began when I was in fourth grade. My parents had a home built, and I was fascinated by the blueprints and the process. A few years later, my mother was stationed in Singapore, and I spent the summer there. I was struck by how different the Asian cities were in both their architecture and their built environments. That summer sparked an even greater interest in urban design.

I came to the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts because I was so impressed with the architecture program, and it has exceeded my expectations. My courses have taught me how to think, how to ask questions, and how best to evaluate a building. I know I am earning a degree that will be meaningful to employers who understand the academic rigor of Washington University. I am very grateful for the generosity of alumni and friends who have helped make all this possible. Because of my scholarship, I can concentrate fully on my work without worrying about burdening my family now or about paying back an unmanageable amount of debt when I graduate.

During my time at the Sam Fox School, I have had the opportunity to study the social problems of today's cities. Recently, I attended the annual conference of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students in Detroit, where I discovered a core group of people working to revitalize the city. I have found that my generation has a very positive outlook toward cities and the built environment. We are interested in new solutions, and I believe that society and architecture are ready to take a new look at urban areas. My studies are equipping me to provide these new solutions to current and future problems, and I plan to pursue master's degrees in architecture and in urban design.