In Memoriam: Virginia Denton, 1938-2018

Virginia Denton, former director of design and construction at Syracuse University in New York, died on October 27, 2018. She was 80 years old.

Upon graduating from Syracuse University in 1961, Denton took a position in the university’s Office of Design and Construction, where she went on to serve for the next 42 years. In 1986, she was named director and became one of the first women to oversee construction, renovation, and major maintenance of all facilities for a major university. She retired in 2003.

During her tenure, Denton developed the Campus Master Plan, which removed paved areas and created more green space as well as the Sculpture Garden and the Orange Grove. She oversaw the construction of the Carrier Dome, the Schine and Goldstein student centers, the Shaffer Art Building, the Comstock Art Facility, the Center for Science and Technology, Flanagan Gym, Crouse-Hinds Hall, MacNaughton Hall, and additions to the Manley Complex. She also supervised the renovations of the Hall of Languages, the Tolley Administration Building, and Crouse College.

For her devotion to the university, Denton received the Chancellor’s Citation for Distinguished Service in 2004 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Visual and Performing Arts in 1991.

“Ginny was the first — and only — female boss I’d had,” said Brenda Law, assistant director of design in the Office of Campus Planning, Design, and Construction. “As a young architect, early in my career, in a largely male-dominated profession, I appreciated that Ginny was both supportive and instructive. She herself entered the profession at a time when very few women did, and while she never complained of discrimination I suspect she had obstacles to overcome. Through her hard work, and women like her, they paved the way for my generation.”

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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