Hilary Ballon, 1956-2017

Hilary Ballon, PhD ’85 in History, Theory, and Criticism, and a dear friend to the School, passed away on June 16, 2017, at age 61. Ballon was a university professor and professor of architecture and urbanism at New York University, and deputy vice chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi, which she played an instrumental role in founding.

Her academic research focused on cities and the intersection of architecture, politics, and social life, especially New York City. Hilary maintained her ties to MIT and our community despite her demanding career. From 2011 to 2017, she actively served on the Department of Architecture Visiting Committee. Recently, before she lost the battle with the illness that took her life, she had agreed to lend her guidance and experience to as a member of the SA+P Dean’s Advisory Council.

“Hilary was dedicated to understanding the past and committed to improving the present; a fluid thinker and rigorous practitioner; generous with her time, teaching, and scholarship; and passionate about the potential for architecture, art, and urbanism to give meaning to our lives and shape our world for the better,” wrote Dean Hashim Sarkis in an address to the School, “I will always be grateful for her inspirational mind and exemplary life. Our hearts go out to her family, friends, students, and colleagues for their loss.”

Read more about her life and accomplishments here.