Marga Rose Hancock


Marga Rose Hancock - grew up in Houston, and with a BA from Scripps College 1969 took her first real job in Seattle as a secretary in the UW Department of Urban Planning. In 1975-76 she served as Allied Arts Acting Executive Director, then directed the Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute before coming to AIA Seattle May 1985 as chief of staff.

The AIA national jury that in 1995 extended her the national recognition of Honorary AIA noted: "Her articulate and persuasive communication by, for, and about architects and good design has marked her as a leader for the entire profession. Her integration of the AIA into her community has placed Seattle in the forefront of regional and national AIA programs." In support of her nomination, Deborah K. Dietsch, then Architecture Editor-in-Chief, wrote, "I often joke that whenever I talk to Marga, I find myself thinking of Seattle as the center of the universe. She always manages to convince me that Seattle architects are some of the best in the country, a fact that I have come to appreciate through her introductions." AIA Seattle 1997 Medallist Bill Bain FAIA called her "the consummate ambassador, social director, and work horse." AIA's then-Vice President, the late Walter Blackburn FAIA wrote, "Marga creates local heroes of architects through innovative programs that expand their visibility and availability to the community. With exceptional sensitivity, she fosters mutual respect among architects, their peers, and the public. To work with Marga is to appreciate her fervent dedication to empowering architects and enhancing their professional stature."

In 1990, her peers in the organization of AIA component executives (CACE) honored her with the President's Award and in 2003 as Executive of the Year. Her 1992 appointment to the AIA national Diversity Committee elevated the progress of the AIA Seattle Diversity Roundtable, which she helped establish. She served 4 terms on the CACE ExCom and established the record for failure in the quest to represent that organization on the AIA Board of Directors, having lost four elections for CACE President. In 2003, she accepted appointment by then-President Thom Penney FAIA to the newly-created post of AIA Poet Laureate, and remains the only person to hold this position.

Among honors celebrated at the AIA Seattle Honors Gala 6/25, AIA 2007 President RK Stewart FAIA presented an AIA Presidential Citation on behalf of AIA 2005 President Douglas L. Steidl FAIA, to Marga Rose Hancock Hon. AIA. The Citation reads: "No prose is too purple nor flight of fancy too high to adequately acknowledge her pride in the achievement of Seattle's architects, whom she embraces as members of a loving extended family; or enumerate the good she has done through her passionate advocacy of healthy and beautiful communities by design; or to honor sufficiently her inspired commitment to a diverse profession distinguished by the joyous fellowship of mutual respect. Reputation built on a single good deed like grass soon perishes; reputation, like hers, anchored by a lifetime of service is a gift of the gods, proof against time."

* "The Ballad of Marga," by Kelly Brandon AIA
* "My Years with AIA Seattle 1985- " (attached below) 
* CACE Executive of the Year 2001
* "Engaging Clients Where They Live," AIA Journal April 2004