Remembering Professor Vincent L. Pass


Vincent L. Pass, former professor of architectural engineering, has died. 

Pass spent nearly three decades as a faculty member of the Department of Architectural Engineering, where he taught courses on structural engineering design and conducted research centered on solar heat gain through different combinations of glass types and shading devices.

After his service with the U.S. Navy during World War II, Pass received his undergraduate degree in architectural engineering with a minor in architectural design from Penn State. In 1951, he received his master of science in structural engineering with a minor in building construction at the University of Texas. Before returning to Penn State as a faculty member in 1955, he served as a senior structural engineer for the facilities group of the General Motors Corporation. On January 1, 1963, Pass, along with professors Gifford Albright, Louis A. Richardson, Melvin W. Isenberg and Albert W. Knott and instructors Lester L. Boyer and Larry O. Degelman, became a part of the reestablished Department of Architectural Engineering in the renamed College of Engineering. Pass, Albright, Richardson, Isenberg and Boyer were previously appointed in the Department of Architecture in the College of Engineering and Architecture. 

Professor Pass was noted for his positive impact on the students he taught. Pass received many teaching excellence awards, most notably the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1969, one of Penn State’s highest honors. In 1981, Pass retired from Penn State as head of the undergraduate structures program. 

"Vince Pass was a classic example of the student-centered and inspirational professors of the early days of the AE program that made it so successful," M. Kevin Parfitt, interim head of the Department of Architectural Engineering and professor of architectural engineering, said. "His class on structural analysis is one of the primary reasons I selected a career in the structural option of architectural engineering. When I first came back to Penn State to teach, Vince gave me one piece of advice to help me succeed. He said 'never forget what it was like to be a student and everything else will fall into place.' I try to follow that advice to this day."

To honor Pass' dedication to the Department of Architectural Engineering and its students, Joseph and Marlene Borda created the Professor Vincent Pass scholarship in 1999. 

In retirement, Professor Pass continued to be a presence in the construction industry with his private structural engineering consulting practice. 


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Vincent Pass

Vincent Pass




Widely acknowledged as one of the top Architectural Engineering programs in the world, the Penn State AE Department is dedicated to providing outstanding academic excellence to all of our students. The AE program is focused on preparing students and conducting research in the design, engineering, and construction of building projects.

Department of Architectural Engineering

104 Engineering Unit A

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-6394