Landscape Architecture Foundation

Meet Our Donors

We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.

Donor 1

Clarence & Ruth Roy (in memoriam)

In 2009, LAF was the recipient of an unanticipated bequest from Clarence Roy, one of the three founders of JJR, and his wife Ruth, now both deceased.

Since its founding in 1961, JJR has become a nationally-recognized leader in landscape architecture, planning, urban design, civil engineering, and environmental science. Sustainability, research, and an integrated approach are core values for JJR, upon which the firm has built its success. These values are shared by the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

JJR has been a long-time supporter and investor in LAF's research programs because JJR strongly believes that advancing the body of knowledge of the profession informs and moves the practice of landscape architecture forward. The gift from Clarence and Ruth Roy continues a tradition of support for LAF research initiatives. This fund is now able to make a significant commitment to the Landscape Performance Series as a Founding Partner.

I knew Clarence as a thoughtful, gentle man of few words and great integrity. After receiving his degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan, Clarence started his professional career at Lambert's, then noted for Dallas' finest gardens. It was there that he met his wife, Ruth, who was in the interior's division. He then joined the brothers Carl and William Johnson in their new practice as Johnson, Johnson & Roy in 1961 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Clarence's deep love of the profession is expressed in his and Ruth's generous gift to LAF. The JJR/Roy Fund is a legacy gift, and through wise stewardship, JJR hopes to perpetuate this gift well into the future. We invite other firms to consider building a similar legacy with LAF – a legacy that extends the life of a firm over generations; a legacy that one generation hands to the next to build and steward into the future; a legacy for the future of the profession, which in turn is a legacy for the future of the planet.

Deb Mitchell, FASLA, LEED AP
Senior Vice President, JJR

Donor 1

Barbara Deutsch, FASLA

I was moved to make a bequest to LAF by two people. The first was Clarence Roy, whose own gift arrived to LAF soon after I joined as Executive Director. I experienced firsthand the divine intervention that a planned gift can make for an organization and how game-changing for the profession and the environment it can be.

The second was my grandmother. She would smile and say teasingly, "If and when I ever go, I want you to have..." or "I want you remember this about me . . ." So, if and when I ever go, I want my daughter to remember me in many dimensions. I want her to know about my work and interests and the profession I've committed my life to. I want her to know about my job, what I did during the day, and that any time away from her was devoted to make a difference in the world for not only her, but for others.

As Executive Director of the Landscape Architecture Foundation, I know firsthand the difference LAF is making and that there couldn't be a better way to invest in the future.

Jay Graham, FASLA

When I was appointed to the LAF Board of Directors, I was a young professional surrounded by senior professionals. These leaders had dedicated much time to promoting the landscape architecture profession, and their passion directed my energy and interest. When I was in a position to offer financial assistance, I felt small firms, like mine, needed to invest in our profession. LAF was a way to give back and show my support for the profession, and I established LAF as the beneficiary of my life insurance policy. I decided to invest in LAF as I noticed the Foundation develop a more proactive and expanding agenda and take a leadership role within the profession.

Today, I am encouraged by the Foundation's research initiatives that support and promote the work of landscape architects. This effort gives us credibility among design professionals. I believe LAF will continue to expand the recognition of the contributions landscape architects are making toward a healthier environment — healthier both for humans and the Earth. For years (the 70s, 80s and into 90s), whenever landscape architects gathered, we discussed how we might gain greater respect within the design community. The first response toward gaining respect was more in the realm of PR. That began to work and we were noticed. Those who noticed began to ask questions: What benefits did we bring to the equation? In order to be effective lobbyists for the profession, we needed more facts. LAF has responded to that need within the profession. That effort will benefit all landscape architects and deserves our support. The more individuals and firms that support the effort, the further and faster we can progress in defining for others (and ourselves) the benefits we bring to design of our environment.

Donor 1

Debra Mitchell, FASLA

Clarence and Ruth Roy’s significant bequest to LAF and the JJR Fund inspired me to leave a bequest to the Foundation through the JJR/Roy Fund. Although the JJR Fund, built by JJR principals and another bequest, had contributed to LAF’s earlier publishing activities, it was the powerful difference the Roy bequest made to LAF’s future that was so impactful. I want the JJR/Roy Fund to continue to be such an asset to LAF.

LAF is a forward-thinking, big picture organization, and I have been a proud Board Member for many years. I have had the joy of seeing the impact that LAF is making in the profession and am confident in LAF’s ability to grow and thrive as an organization.

Darwina Neal, FASLA

I have supported LAF through the years because I have always felt that it was an important way to support education, research and scholarships to advance the profession of Landscape Architecture — and part of my commitment of being a landscape architect! Also, I liked and respected Campbell Miller, FASLA, ASLA Past President, who was instrumental in establishing LAF. I saw LAF as a "living legacy" to his memory.

I purchased a life insurance policy with LAF as beneficiary when I was ASLA President and serving on the LAF Board. Individuals who have a policy make an on-going annual commitment to make a payment on the policy that they can credit as a donation. LAF is then the beneficiary of the policy…hopefully for many years down the line!

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