Friends and family mourn loss of influential UL professor - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Friends and family mourn loss of influential UL professor

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is mourning the loss of architecture professor George Loli. He died Thursday at the age of 72.

"My father was born in Al-Hasakeh, Syria, and he left and went to study in Florence, Italy to study architecture. He learned architecture in Italian, being an Arabic native speaker. He studied there for ten years and then came to the United States," explained Loli's youngest daughter, Jennifer.

Loli taught architecture and design at UL for 36 years, taking students to Europe to teach them about space and to help them develop their drafting skills.

"He encouraged his students and family to see the world in a way that would capture the beauty and the essence of nature. As kids, he would always pull us over and have us look at art pieces, and he would discuss the elements of those pieces and what made them beautiful," said Jennifer.

Loli was also a master watercolorist. Some of his artwork has been featured in major publications, such as Strokes of Genius. He also used his art to enrich his students' training.

"I think that the watercolors ultimately would be like the individual stamp of what he was trying to express and teach, whether it be architecture or design," said Loli's son, Joseph.

Loli worked on many outreach urban design projects in cities across southern Louisiana and spear-headed a major study abroad program in the department. 

"George taught for many years in our Paris study abroad program, and then he had the opportunity with some other faculty to develop a new curriculum in Florence," said the Director of the School of Architecture & Design, Tom Sammons.

All say with his integrity and humility, Loli constantly worked to share his passion for the beauty of the world. 

"He would joke about, 'When am I going to graduate?' Because he would go through each semester, and it would fly by, and he would always learn from his students," said Jennifer.

"He was just a special guy. We're going to. I'm going to miss him," lamented Tom.

"He really loved teaching, like he really loved being in that world. It made him so happy. So, for him to have this moment, I don't think that he would ever imagine it. I think the fact that he could say one final goodbye to everybody, to the people he couldn't say goodbye to, I think this is the most honorable and respectfully humble way," said Joseph.

Juliana, Loli's eldest daughter, is also in Lafayette this week to support family and friends. 

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