Architecture alum gives $1 million to UWM

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has received $1 million from architecture alumnus James Mellowes and his wife, Maureen. The couple has directed that half their gift be used at the chancellor’s discretion, with the remainder designated for UWM’s School of Architecture & Urban Planning.

“I am honored that Jim and Maureen have made such a thoughtful, multifaceted gift,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “Although they now live in Boston, Jim and Maureen have continued to make their support for UWM and our students a priority. I am deeply grateful for the generosity they have shown for Jim’s alma mater. Their support for the School of Architecture & Urban Planning will enrich the student experience. I will direct the discretionary portion of their gift to support UWM’s initiatives promoting student success, including scholarships and emergency grants.”

The Mellowes’ gift for the School of Architecture & Urban Planning includes three areas: the Mellowes Fund for Architecture, which provides unrestricted support for the school; the James Mellowes Graduate Research Fund, which encourages graduate students in architecture to pursue research activities; and the Bob Greenstreet Honorary Scholarship Fund, which provides student support as a tribute to the former, longtime dean of the School of Architecture & Urban Planning.

“This gift will make a lasting impact on the architecture program,” Architecture Department Chair Mo Zell said. “I appreciate the Mellowes’ generosity, which will touch our students and faculty for many years. Specifically, their support for graduate research will strengthen the School of Architecture & Urban Planning’s reputation and help us attract the best and brightest scholars to the field.”

Jim earned two degrees at UWM: a bachelor’s in architectural studies in 1971 and a Master of Architecture in 1973. He moved to Cambridge in 1976 and has lived in the Boston area since. He started the firm Mellowes & Paladino Architects in 1993 and is now partially retired.

Maureen earned a bachelor’s degree from Marymount College in 1973 and an MFA in 1977 from Rosary College Graduate School of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy. After living in Florence for several years, she returned to the U.S. in the ’80s and worked for Abt Associates in Cambridge.

“Maureen and I take great satisfaction in philanthropy, both in the Boston area and in Milwaukee,” Jim said. “Although Boston is our home, we continue to return to Milwaukee, and we value the educational and community role that UWM and the architecture program fill in shaping the future of the city and surrounding region. We want our gift to increase the impact that UWM clearly has on Milwaukee.”