In Memory of Gary Dwyer

See the link below to post your own photos and memories of Gary.

Our dear friend and colleague, Emeritus Professor Gary Dwyer, passed away on August 9th 2020. The Landscape Architecture Department has since received a warm and robust outpouring of remembrances about Gary. He is truly missed.

Gary arrived in San Luis Obispo in 1973 as a faculty member to join the new Landscape Architecture program in the College of Architecture and Environment Design. At the time, all five majors in the college used the same shared design instruction for the first two years of their curriculum.  With his art, design and construction background experience, coupled with his imagination and drive, Gary made an immediate impact across all majors in the CAED, as he was a key member of the faculty teaching the shared courses.

Gary continued throughout his Cal Poly career as a valued design instructor, with an abundance of creative energy and enthusiasm to learn, that he practiced and passed on to students and many others. He helped students to see and interpret design, environment and social connections in new and inventive ways, never shy in saying what he thought.

Gary possessed strong interests and focus in many subject areas. These included Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Fine Arts, Sculpture, Photography, and other fields ( His creativity, imagination, and skills resulted in outstanding and award-winning projects. He also acknowledged and championed the accomplishments of his students throughout their own careers. His method of engaging students, and others, in their design creations (reportedly two parts inspiring, one-part terrifying) resulted in amazing and creative results. He was eager to assist students in whatever ways possible.

Gary Dwyer was a true friend and a loving, caring person. His frank talk and ‘pull no punches’ approach meant that, well, you always knew where you stood with Gary. He was a provocateur, an explorer, a dreamer, full of Irish humor and sarcasm. He encouraged all to achieve their best, and supported the best solutions in all things related to sociality, environment, creativity, and problem solving. He encouraged his students to take notice from the largest of issues to the smallest of details. His lifetime of employing meaningful and creative thinking was a true measure of everything that Gary undertook and stood for. He was an extraordinary man with a life fully lived.

Gary’s family has asked that any donations in memory of Gary be given to the World Monuments Fund. We encourage you to post a memory or image (if you have one) of Gary on the department memorial page HERE as a way of celebrating Gary. We hope all who knew Gary will follow his lead through teaching, celebrating, and supporting one another.

Photos on this page courtesy of Dr. Odile Ayral

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