Convocation Ceremony 2010

Sunday, 16 May 2010
Illinois Ballroom
I Hotel and Conference Center
1900 S. First Street, Champaign

8:45 am: Continental Breakfast
9:30 am: Convocation & Student Recognition Ceremony

Convocation Remarks by Mr. Charles C. Allen, FAICP

Charles C. Allen, FAICP, has been involved in city planning since 1963, a forty-seven year career that has included the public and private sectors, and sixteen years as a locally elected official. He is a 1958 graduate of Hampton University, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture, and a 1963 graduate of Columbia University, earning his Master of Science degree in Urban Planning.

He began his professional career with the firm of Clarke and Rapuano, Inc. in New York City. Through this firm, Mr. Allen was involved in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Middletown, Connecticut; Albany, New York; Nashville, Tennessee; Trenton, New Jersey; and North Canton, Ohio. Mr. Allen prepared the plan that was the catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Nashville, and the conservation of Ryman Hall. In most of the cities he worked, his primary focus was the growth and expansion of colleges and universities i.e. Vanderbilt, Princeton, Lehigh, Wesleyan, and SUNY at Albany.

In 1968, Mr. Allen was appointed Director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Gary, Indiana. He, with local staff, coordinated with the U.S. Department of Urban Development (HUD) officials to create the first Annual Arrangement, a program which was the forerunner of the Community Development Block Grant Program. The Annual Arrangement was an agreement between the local community and HUD based on a five-year plan that identified categorical grants to include Planning, the initial big city 701 Planning grant; program administration, community renewal program; and implementation grants such as urban renewal, housing, water and sewer, open space and code compliance.

In 1974, Charles Allen joined the Soul City Company as Vice President and General Manager. Soul City was a new community formed under the Urban Growth and New Community Development Act, and the only free standing community of the HUD New Communities. Local opposition to this program brought together the conservative Raleigh News-Observer and the conservative Senator Jessie Helms with a commitment to failure.

Returning to the Chicago area in the fall of 1975, Mr. Allen assumed the position of Senior Vice President of the minority-owned, multi-discipline firm of Wendell Campbell Associates. He specialized in helping minority governed communities to plan, zone, and implement through funding directed to accomplishing planning objectives.

In 1988, Mr. Allen returned to his hometown of Newport News, Virginia, as Deputy Director of Planning for the Department of Planning and Development. He conceptualized and directed the staff in the implementation of the Framework for the Future, a comprehensive plan with strong citizen involvement and overview. The program received numerous awards, but Charles Allen was removed from the program in 1991. In 1992, he returned to city government as City Councilman. He was elected Vice Mayor in 1996, and remained on the Newport News City Council for sixteen years, twelve of those years as Vice Mayor. He advocated on City Council for the implementation of the comprehensive plan, Framework for the Future, which has resulted in tremendous and innovative growth within an established city.

Mr. Allen retired in 2008, to return to Lisle, Illinois and his family. He remains involved professionally in planning through his consultant work with The Livas Group Architects, PC., a firm in Virginia providing services in architecture, planning, landscaping architecture, and interior design. He concentrates primarily on services provided to historically black colleges and universities.

Charles C. Allen was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2004. He has served on two national planning organization boards; The American Society of Planning Officials, 1970-1973; and The American Planning Association, 1979-1982.

Mr. Allen’s presentation at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning will focus on “Who is Your Client?”

List of Award Winners
List of Graduates

Previous Convocations: 2008 | 2009

Charles C. Allen