In Their Own Words: Alumni in Architecture

Charles N. Tseckares '57

I graduated from Dartmouth with a double major: sociology and art history. My purpose in doing this was to prepare myself either for architecture or archeology.  I knew I had an interest in both and I would let the next few years show me which direction I would go.  Art history would be about historical objects and sociology for human interaction.

Two years after graduation I left the Army for graduate school in architecture at University of Pennsylvania.  I decided to become a practitioner rather than an archeologist.  At the time, 1959, archeologists either went on digs in the Middle East and the Mediterranean area or taught. Today archaeology has blossomed and there are all sorts of opportunities in different parts of the world for American archaeologists, including the Americas.

Having experienced a sociology discipline at Dartmouth has helped me in my profession.  Many of our clients are groups representing organizations rather than an  individual client.  We also have an interest in urban design which is city building. Both architectural and urban design projects require us to understand the attitude of groups.  My interest in sociology has helped me understand our clients better.

I am also involved in many projects in the Middle East and my sociology background has helped in my understanding of my foreign clients.  My faculty mentor was Professor H. Wentworth Eldridge and at that time he was a consultant to NATO.  I remember him telling us of his experience of trying to get highly skilled people from different cultural backgrounds to work together for a common goal.