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Gary Herberger, ASU patron, apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, dies at 79.
March 6, 2017

Herberger, apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright, leaves legacy in design institute, school for gifted children

He was an architect, one of the last to apprentice under Frank Lloyd Wright.

He was a businessman, head of Herberger Enterprises, a real estate development firm.

And he was a philanthropist, once described by a sitting governor as “a living example of what Henry David Thoreau meant when he said, ‘If you give money, spend yourself with it.’”

Gary K. Herberger, one of Arizona State University’s most generous supporters, died Feb. 28, his wife, Jeanne Herberger, said. He was 79.

Gary Herberger
Gary K. Herberger

One of Herberger's most significant legacies is his namesake Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy, a school for academically gifted children at ASU’s West campus. Gary and Jeanne Herberger donated $20 million to launch the school in 2011 and added $5 million to expand the campus this year.

Such donations are synonymous with the Herberger family name, which has for decades been one of the most visible in the Phoenix area — especially within the ASU community. The family’s first donation to the school came in 1962: $200 to the School of Music. Over the years, that grew to more than $40 million in support, including a $12 million gift in 2000 that started the transformation of the School of Fine Arts into the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. 

ASU President Michael Crow said Herberger had a sweeping impact.

“Gary had an extraordinary intellect that was wide-ranging and effortlessly curious about how to design things better, how to make things better,” he said. “He was totally committed to upgrading the intellectual capability of the community. His legacy here at ASU and around the Valley will be felt for generations to come.”

Steven Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, said that Gary Herberger is a “patron saint” of the college and that his creative genius inspires students and faculty every day.

“As an architect, developer and inventor, Gary embodied the true spirit of a designer — someone who sees the world as an endless space for reinvention and imagination,” Tepper said.

“Gary and the Herberger family invested in the Institute because they believed in the power of architecture, design and the arts to advance and elevate Phoenix as a sustainable and culturally rich city,” he said, adding that the support has allowed the college to hire renowned faculty and directors and to fund research and innovation in design, digital culture, performing arts, film and art.

Herberger knew architecture firsthand, having worked under Wright in 1958 at Taliesin West in Scottsdale and helping him with New York City’s Guggenheim Museum. When Wright died in 1959, Herberger traveled to Kansas to finish the famed architect’s buildings at Wichita State University. Herberger later served as chairman of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

“As an architect, developer and inventor, Gary embodied the true spirit of a designer — someone who sees the world as an endless space for reinvention and imagination.” 
— Steven Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Tepper recalled visiting Gary and Jeanne Herberger in their Paradise Valley home.

“Gary designed every detail of that house — from the exterior structure to the kitchen cabinets, the chandeliers, the tables and bookshelves. I remember thinking, ‘How wonderful to be able to live in a house where everything — small and large — was a reflection of one’s own creative talents and hard work,’ ” he said.

“This is the spirit of craftsmanship, intelligence and creativity that Gary brought to everything he did and that we aspire to when preparing the next generation of designers and artists.”

Herberger was a private person, but in 2007 then-Gov. Janet Napolitano declared May 16 of that year as Gary Kierland Herberger Day. Her proclamation included the famous Thoreau quote. Napolitano also noted the many interests that benefited from Herberger’s devotion: adoption, health, theater, art, music, senior citizens, environmental concerns, population issues, hunger, homelessness, youth, education, architecture and academic excellence.

ASU also has recognized the generosity of Gary and Jeanne Herberger, who shared his passion for advancing the school. In 2012, the couple was selected “ASU Philanthropists of the Year” by the President’s Club of the ASU Foundation for A New American University.

Herberger often visited ASU and his Young Scholars Academy, which teaches an accelerated curriculum to middle and high school students that allows them to acquire credits from the university.

He was passionate about creating a safe space for gifted children to thrive and said of the academy: “I dream of a place where our most promising children can realize their true potential — a place where they can play, create, inspire and innovate.”

Herberger loved being with the students, said Kimberly Lansdowne, executive director of the academy. During his visits, they would often hold “jam sessions” around the baby grand piano in the lobby that he donated.

“The kids would stand up and do a dance or a song, or poetry or play the guitar,” Lansdowne said.

The Herbergers “hoped for us to be a place where highly gifted kids could come and learn and be in a safe environment to take risks and be innovative and creative and be OK with struggling with things and experiencing failure and what you learn from that,” she said.

Though his name is on the school, the gracious and soft-spoken Herberger was never intimidating, she said.

“He would always greet me with a hug,” she said. “When he came to visit he was quiet, but you could see he was pleased with all the things that were going on.”

Lansdowne said Herberger had been a brilliant student who wasn’t always comfortable in the classroom.

“Academically, he knew more than most of his instructors,” she said. “But he struggled with finding a place where he felt comfortable learning and valued as a student.”

Gary and Jeanne Herberger were intellectual partners who embraced lifelong learning. Jeanne Herberger eventually earned three degrees from ASU’s Hugh Downs School of Human Communication.

In 2002, Gary and Jeanne Herberger were awarded honorary degrees from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management, as it was known then. Gary Herberger had been on the Thunderbird Board of Trustees. In 2015, ASU partnered with the school, now known as the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

He was a member emeritus of the American Institute of Architects, a member and former president of the Economic Club of Phoenix, and former chairman of the Dean's Council of 100 at Arizona State University.

Herberger was on the boards of the Design School and the Council for Design Excellence and was involved in the creation of the Herberger Center for Design Research, which has been a conduit for several million dollars in research funding over the past 20 years.

He supported research for the Digital Phoenix Project and was an adviser for the creation of ASU’s Master of Real Estate Development program in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Gary and Jeanne Herberger also made significant donations to the Phoenix Symphony, Musical Instrument Museum and Herberger Theater Center.

Gary Herberger’s parents, Bob and Katherine “Kax” Herberger, moved the family from Minnesota to the Valley in 1949. Bob Herberger’s family owned the Herberger’s chain of department stores in the Midwest. Since then, few families have had as profound of an impact on ASU and the Phoenix area.

Gary Herberger is survived by his beloved wife and his brother, Judd.

Lansdowne said the children at the Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy are his legacy.

“What they will do in their lives,” she said, “will reflect back on the generosity of Gary.”

 

Top photo: Gary Herberger speaks to a group of patrons at the launch of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in 2009. Photo by Tom Story/ASU

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now

480-727-4503

ASU center helps Southwest manufacturers improve energy efficiency


March 7, 2017

In business, a better bottom line means better profitability, competitiveness and overall success. For energy-intensive businesses in the manufacturing sector, improving energy efficiency can reduce costs and send those savings straight to the bottom line.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy seeks to help make the U.S. manufacturing industry more energy-efficient, productive and secure through a nearly $35 million Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) program. Mechanical engineering undergraduate student Katilin Kreck takes a measurement in a manufacturing facility. Arizona State University received $1.5 million over five years from the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to create an Industrial Assessment Center to help make the U.S. manufacturing industry more energy-efficient, productive and secure. Faculty and students from ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering perform free site-specific, independent evaluations as part of this initiative, and students like manufacturing engineering undergraduate Kaitlin Kreck get hands-on experience performing industrial assessments. Photo courtesy of Sarah Johnston Download Full Image

IACs make site-specific recommendations to improve efficiency while providing undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity for firsthand exposure to industry manufacturing processes, energy assessment procedures and energy management systems.

Arizona State University is one of 28 universities the DOE tasked with establishing IACs in 2016. The DOE awarded ASU $1.5 million for the five-year project. The ASU IAC is led by faculty in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering: director and industrial engineering associate professor Rene Villalobos, assistant director and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering Pat Phelan, and manager and assistant research technologist Jon Sherbeck.

Villalobos and Phelan — faculty members in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering and the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, two of the six Fulton Schools — bring their experience running an IAC at ASU for more than 15 years, a center that ended its work in 2006 after completing more than 400 assessments. Over the 40 years the DOE has funded the IAC program, centers have provided more than 17,000 assessments and more than 130,000 recommendations for improvement.

A large and growing manufacturing state

Arizona’s total manufacturing output in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, was at the highest value ever recorded at $21.9 billion. Between 2009 and 2013, manufacturing exports increased by 25 percent, representing about 84,000 jobs.

The state’s top five manufacturing industries, ranked by their contributions to the state’s gross domestic product, are computer and electronic products, transportation equipment, food and beverage and tobacco products, miscellaneous products and chemicals, according to In Business Greater Phoenix magazine.

The ASU IAC serves an area beyond Arizona into southern Nevada/Las Vegas and western New Mexico, an area “which is not served by any other IAC,” Phelan said.

The area also represents the states with fast-growing populations relative to the country as a whole, driven in part by high job growth — Arizona was ranked eighth and Nevada sixth in 2014 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  

A mutually beneficial service

ASU’s IAC and the 27 others conduct free assessments for small manufacturers with fewer than 500 employees, gross annual sales below $100 million and energy bills between $100,000 and $2.5 million per year.

“ASU, as an independent and experienced third party, provides an unbiased assessment that plant managers can use to justify capital expenditures for energy-efficiency improvements, or to seek out specialists from the private sector to perform a more in-depth analysis,” Phelan said.

In addition to energy efficiency, the ASU IAC also assesses a manufacturer’s cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses, making recommendations on security measures such as using two-factor authentication to protect them against cyber attacks.

The IAC assessment team includes not only faculty members but students in undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs who help take measurements, come up with improvement ideas, and calculate cost savings.

During the one-day assessment visit, Sherbeck said the team looks for opportunities to improve energy efficiency as well as to reduce water consumption and waste streams.

“We look at their manufacturing processes and try to suggest productivity improvements, which might be how to track quality so you have fewer scrap parts, or how to arrange your processes so that there’s a minimum amount of travel of the hardware,” Sherbeck said.

It’s also a way for companies to get a fresh set of eyes on their operations and to break them out of the lull of “this is the way we’ve always done it,” Sherbeck said.

Sherbeck brings valuable experience to the team from his years of hands-on manufacturing experience, having put himself through university by working as a machinist and later full-time building all kinds of systems in industry.

After the assessment, the IAC team develops recommendations and delivers a confidential report to the client within 60 days.

“We attempt to determine how much cost the company can save, how much it’ll cost them to implement improvements and determine what the payback period would be,” Sherbeck said.

Six months after the assessment, the team conducts a follow-up visit and reports to the Department of Energy what improvements the company implemented.

In its first year, the ASU IAC plans to do 13 assessments, followed by 20 assessments in subsequent years.

The team has already started conducting assessments and is ramping up a marketing campaign to increase the manufacturing community’s awareness of these free services.

Community partners round out the team

The ASU team partners with other local organizations to identify potential clients and works with power companies to identify energy-efficiency improvement opportunities.

RevAZ, a business improvement and training organization that is part of the Arizona Commerce Authority, also helps identify potential clients for the ASU IAC.

Lincus Inc., a sustainability and efficiency evaluator, helps the ASU IAC with energy-saving alternative practices.

Outside Arizona, Nevada Industry Excellence helps with industrial business productivity and productivity recommendations.

Educating the next generation of engineers

Besides the costs of measurement equipment purchases and travel to and from industry clients, the nearly $1.5 million in funding supports student involvement in the program.

“These funds are used to support a large number of undergraduate and graduate students, mostly from engineering, who identify the clients, perform the assessments, develop the analysis and, finally, prepare and deliver the reports,” Phelan said.

Students involved get a “tremendous educational experience” where they can apply coursework to real manufacturing facilities, Phelan said, and soon they also will be able to participate in a new planned educational program in “clean-energy manufacturing.”

Both students and faculty get to learn what really matters to industry through the experience.

“Participating companies are helping ASU students and faculty become more knowledgeable about industrial practices and problems, which in turn helps make ASU’s engineering research and educational programs more relevant and impactful,” Phelan said.

Mechanical engineering doctoral candidate Nicholas Fette said his involvement in the ASU IAC has been a great learning experience. After a few months as student lead of the ASU IAC, he said he has a better understanding of manufacturing issues in Arizona in addition to better insight into how the university conducts business and the challenges of planning and communicating effectively with large organizations.

“Now having conducted a few site visits, I feel I have been exposed to many more aspects of this industry than were touched on in my academic training, and I’ve found some problems and unanswered questions worthy of research effort,” Fette said. “It has been a great experience, and I hope that we can develop more hands-on opportunities for students like this one.

Sherbeck notes that the experience will help lead to better-qualified graduates.

“The DOE considers that there are not enough qualified people to do this kind of [assessment] work,” Sherbeck said. “The program is intended to help small manufacturers, but it’s also intended to lead to more graduates capable of doing this kind of work.”

Monique Clement

Communications specialist, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

480-727-1958