Paul Barkley

Taking on a New Role

Paul Barkley (Arch ’60)

Paul H. Barkley has built a distinguished career as a practicing architect and a developer of commercial real estate projects in Falls Church, Va.

“Since my earliest memories as an elementary school student, I had dreamed of being an architect—at that time it seemed like an impossible undertaking to me,” said Barkley. “At U.Va., pursuing studies in a subject I enjoyed, the sense of community the University provided, and a fellowship to study in France during the summer between my fourth and fifth years, all built a sense of confidence in myself that I did not have before. That, along with the education I received, contributed immensely to my ability to open a private practice with a U.Va. classmate the very day I received my Virginia license. That was 45 years ago this year.”

An active community service volunteer, Barkley has been a fellow with the American Institute of Architects since 1991. He has established himself as a state and national leader within that organization, earning the AIA College of Fellows Leslie N. Boney Spirit of Fellowship Award in 2005.

“I feel very fortunate to have had a successful and mostly prosperous career,” said Barkley. “For the most part, I have been my own boss, and I have been able to operate within a small, connected community. I am a firm believer in giving back, a quality instilled in me by my mother and Christian upbringing. Thus, I have taken on roles serving my profession and my community, and in supporting the education of young people in quality architectural education. The U.Va. School of Architecture is the focus of my support in the latter.”

Barkley is a dedicated volunteer for the School of Architecture Foundation. In addition to being involved in the planning for each of his class reunions over the years, he has assisted in organizing successful alumni events for the school in the Washington, D.C., area. He has worked diligently to send personal greetings and slideshows of old photos to his classmates to encourage everyone to return for their Class of 1960’s Fiftieth Reunion and induction into the Thomas Jefferson Society in May.

“It is not so important what you give back, but that you do give back,” said Barkley. “When you think of it that way, then you begin to consider how much you can do. You will find that you can always do better.”

Barkley and his wife, Jeanette, have given back to the school in many ways—they are members of the School of Architecture Dean’s Forum and, through a planned gift to the school designated for travel study and research, the Cornerstone Society.

“I’m always looking ahead, searching out the next milestone, then moving on to the next plateau,” said Barkley. “My giving to the University has matured in that manner, and I now designate a share of my giving to support U.Va. architecture students’ foreign travel study, much as I was a beneficiary of a travel scholarship during my undergraduate years.”