Ochsendorf named to D&E Board of Trustees


ELKINS — Elkins native and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dr. John Ochsendorf has been appointed to the Davis & Elkins College Board of Trustees.

“Welcoming Dr. Ochsendorf to the D&E Board of Trustees is also welcoming him home,” said Davis & Elkins College President Chris A. Wood. “Raised in Elkins, John has distinguished himself as a scholar and makes all of us in his hometown very proud. As a member of our Board of Trustees, John will bring unique experience and perspective that will enhance the academic offerings of this College. We are honored to welcome him to the Board.”

Ochsendorf currently serves as the Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture and Engineering at MIT, where he has taught since 2002. He recently completed a three-year term as the 23rd director of the American Academy in Rome. His work with AAR began when he was awarded the Rome Prize Fellowship in Historic Preservation in 2007-2008 for a project on the study of masonry vaulting. The study resulted in Ochsendorf writing the monograph “Guastavino Vaulting: The Art of Structural Tile” (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010). The work led to “Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces,” a traveling exhibit curated by Ochsendorf and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

An expert on the mechanics and behavior of masonry structures, Ochsendorf collaborates with art historians, architects and engineers on the study and structural assessment of historic monuments around the world. In 2008, he was named a MacArthur Fellow for his pioneering work using comparative cultural and historical studies to explore pre-industrial engineering traditions.

“I really look forward to joining the Board and to working to strengthen the College however possible,” Ochsendorf said.

Ochsendorf’s ties to D&E date back to his childhood when he grew up near the campus and marveled at its historic architecture. His father, Gene Ochsendorf, previously worked for the D&E Veterans Upward Bound Program and his mother, Nancy Howland, graduated from D&E in 2000 with a degree in psychology. In 2017, Ochsendorf delivered the commencement address to D&E’s 108th graduating class and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

Ochsendorf earned his Ph.D. in engineering from Cambridge University in 2002, his Master of Science in engineering from Princeton University in 1998 and his Bachelor of Science in engineering from Cornell University in 1996. He also is a 1992 graduate of Elkins High School.


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