Educated Perspective: MAF President Bob Washer

MAF President Bob Washer Dedicated to Increasing Architectural Student Opportunities

Bob Washer’s Contributions to the Michigan Architectural Foundation Include:

– Co-founded the first MAF Scholarship Golf Event

– Established the 2nd MAF Dumke Open Golf Event

– Founded the MAF – Detroit Optimist Scholarship

Bob Washer recalls the day when the MAF board asked him to sign on as secretary, a role that eventually leads to that of president. “My first response was, ‘You know I’m not an architect, right?'” he quips. “When the MAF said I was the right guy to eventually become the first non-architect president, it gave me goose bumps,” recalls Bob. “I said, ‘Okay, sign me up!'” They did, of course, and viewed his 45-year career in civil engineering and construction management as an asset, and a way to bring diverse perspectives to the MAF board.

Bob, 2016-2017 MAF board president, has spent the past 27 years helping MAF to expand its programming, raise funds, and elevate the public’s awareness surrounding architecture. With his dedication to creating educational opportunities for architecture students, Bob helped establish scholarships and fundraising events for MAF’s scholarship program. He also serves on MAF’s K5 Education Committee, which develops and supports architecture-based programming for young students.

He also has volunteered his time as president of the Optimist Club of Downtown Detroit; as an event director for the Detroit Special Olympics; and for numerous leadership roles at Farmington High School, where his three children attended. In addition, Bob serves as a mentor for the Future Cities Competition and, since retiring in 2014, continues to do construction-management consulting for clients like the Archdiocese of Detroit.

His so-called retirement gives Bob and his wife, Debbie, more time to spend up north in their Canadian Lakes vacation home – designed, he points out, by an AIA architect. “I’m proud to be living the MAF mission. Architecture enriches my life every day.”