Professor emeritus Bruce G. Sharky, 82, of Baton Rouge passed away peacefully, with his family at his side on Saturday, September 16, 2023.
He joined the LSU landscape architecture faculty in 1990. He served as the director of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture (RRSLA) until 2001, and as a professor until his retirement in 2021.
“Our RRSLA community is saddened by the loss of our dear friend, colleague, and mentor, Bruce Sharky,” said Haley Blakeman, associate director of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture. “We will pass on the details of his service soon so you can join us in remembering him and his legacy.”
Bruce’s dedication to his family, the profession of landscape architecture and his undivided care of the landscape architecture students at LSU, continued throughout his career and retirement. He was designated as one of the RRSLA’s ‘Legacy Professors’ to honor his achievements. He was a gifted artist and inspired many students to become landscape architects through the passion he showed for the profession and the RRSLA program, and generously shared his time to any student or faculty member in need. His method of teaching through the sharing of his professional experiences was especially appreciated by his students.
Throughout his life, Bruce enjoyed hiking and sketching, and travel. His international study programs and field trips with students inspired many to make a positive change in their world through the profession of landscape architecture. Bruce led study programs to Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, and China, gave a seminar in Chile, was a visiting scholar in Japan and had two Fulbright Fellowships to Mexico and Portugal. While teaching, his undergraduate studio classes worked with the National Park Service in developing alternate plans for a backcountry camp at Denali National Park in Alaska, and he led a collaborative agricultural and ecological tourism studio with LSU landscape architecture students and Sichuan Agricultural University in China. During retirement he continued to participate remotely in student critiques in China and a studio class at the University of Austin, Texas.
Bruce befriended many faculty members from other disciplines, and often participated in collaborative projects with other faculty members in the LSU College of Art & Design. He also loved to walk across the LSU campus or spend time in coffee shops and interact with others, particularly those involved in the arts, including music and dramatic arts. Perhaps his most valuable contribution was his enthusiasm and passion for making life better for others in general.
Bruce was also an author of four published books on subjects as varied as professional practice, grading and drainage, introduction to landscape architecture, the theory and use of shadows in creating memorable outdoor spaces and most recently, nature-based design in landscape architecture. His books are valued for their ability to make complex topics understandable for all. In 1990, Professor Sharky was honored as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects for his years of service and contributions to the profession, having served as an ASLA National Trustee and Executive Committee Vice Presidency positions both before and after coming to LSU.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Baton Rouge (date to be determined.)