Neal Kessler

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  • Ann Arbor SmithGroup
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College campuses are inspirational places for many, even more so for—and because of—Neal. "When I started at SmithGroup, I fell in love with campuses and their complex, interwoven systems," he says. "It was a client type I immediately understood. We could have a truly intellectual exchange around the importance of open space, pedestrian connections, and myriad other pieces." In his role, Neal blends his deep knowledge of campus trends with campus metrics. His considerable design work for the University of Michigan includes the Ross School of Business, which folded in several pioneering sustainable features. The same Michigan campus defined the career of Carl Johnson, Neal's mentor and an influential figure in our firm's history. "The land was important to him. He respected, protected and enhanced it again and again." With milestones like the University of Connecticut's Sustainable Design Guidelines to his credit, Neal carries this dedication and legacy forward.