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News 2017

Mertz Awarded the James Marston Fitch Award for Outstanding Achievements

as a Preservation Educator

Chicago, IL (November 27, 2017) – Belmont College is pleased to announce that Professor David R. Mertz was recently awarded the James Marston Fitch Award by the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE). Dr. Paul Kapp, NCPE President and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign’s School of Architecture, presented the award. Kapp cited Mertz’s pioneering efforts in Preservation Trades education at Belmont College as the reason he was selected for the award. In accepting the award, Mertz reflected on his relationships with prior leaders in the profession, their mentorship, and his gratitude to current members for the honor.


Attached photo: Belmont College Building Preservation Restoration Professor Dave Mertz (right) received the James Marston Fitch Award from Dr. Paul Kapp (left), NCPE President and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign’s School of Architecture.

Mertz, who designed and has led Belmont College’s Building Preservation / Restoration (BPR) degree program since its inception in 1989, is a past two-term president of NCPE and served four years as President Emeritus. Mertz’s advocacy of and success in preservation trades-based education was the impetus for the organization’s inclusion of associate degree programs in preservation education in its membership.


Mertz had previously been honored with the James Askins Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 by the Preservation Trades Network on behalf of the National Park Service for his role in developing and advocating for traditional trades education in America.


Belmont College’s BPR program is viewed as a model program in the nation, attracting students from beyond the college’s three-county service area.


Throughout the program’s 28-year history, students of all ages have earned their BPR degree, and many incoming nontraditional students previously have earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Historic Preservation or other field of study.


NCPE is a consortium of graduate and undergraduate institutions which offer certificates and degrees in historic preservation. The award is presented annually to an individual for their outstanding achievements over the course of their career.


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