- M.Arch., Virginia Tech
- B.Arch., Hampton Institute
Robert L. Easter, AIA, NOMA, assumed the role as chair of the Department of Architecture at Hampton University in September, 2008. During his brief tenure, he has overseen the reaccreditation effort of the professional program, securing a six-year affirmation of the program's standing with the National Architectural Accrediting Board. Professionally, he is President of KEi architects (formerly Kelso & Easter, Incorporated) in Richmond, Virginia. A graduate (Bachelor of Architecture) of Hampton University, he also holds a Master of Architecture degree in Architecture / Urban Design from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. He is an ordained minister and has done extensive graduate studies at the Divinity School at Howard University. His initial registration is in the state of Maryland, and he is licensed to practice architecture in Virginia and the District of Columbia. He holds certification with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and his firm holds active registrations in twelve states and the Quebec, Canada. He began practicing architecture in 1977 in Baltimore, Maryland where he served as a Project Architect and designer for Ford & Associates, Inc. He also worked with the New River Valley Planning District Commission as a staff Architect, and taught Architectural Technology for the Northern Virginia Community College. Following a four-year tour of duty in the US Army Corps of Engineers, he founded the Easter Design Center, later merging with John Kelso to form Kelso & Easter, Architects serving the Washington, DC metropolitan area. They were incorporated in 1985 and opened an office in Richmond, Virginia in 1987. In 2001, Mr. Kelso retired, and the entire operation was consolidated to the Richmond office.
His clients include the Capital One, Biotechnology Research Center, Phase I, multiple facility designs for the City of Richmond, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, NationsBank, Philip Morris and several church congregations. His projects credits include the $125 million expansion of the Richmond International Airport, where they designed two parking garages, the expansion of the arrival concourse and the airport maintenance facility. They have been engaged in other airport projects at Roanoke (VA) Regional and Norfolk (VA) International Airports. They have worked with several college campuses including Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, the Virginia Community College System, Saint Paul's College, Delaware State University and the College of William & Mary. They have completed medical related projects for VCU Health Systems and an array of private sector clients.
Mr. Easter is active in community, civic and professional activities. He has twice served as a Director for the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects and is now the chair of the City of Richmond Board of Code Appeals and a board member of the Metropolitan Business League. His other civic involvements have included: board member Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau for the City of Richmond, Board member of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Board chair of the and is a member of the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council. He has served as a board member for the Commonwealth Girl Scout Council of Virginia, Freedom House, Social Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation; Member, Woodley-Nightingale Land-use Task Force, Fairfax County; Member (and former Chair), Architectural Alumni Committee, Hampton University; Board of Directors, Richmond Opportunities Industrialization Center, Richmond, VA; the Board of Directors, Greater Metropolitan Richmond Literacy Council, and as a member of the Northern Virginia Minority Business & Professional Association.
In 1992 he was elected as the fifteenth president of the National Organization of Minority Architects, and has been a vigorous advocate for increased minority participation in the public and private sector building industry. During his tenure, NOMA worked to increase opportunities for its members throughout the nation. International engagements included a tour to South Africa where he served on a mission to bridge relationships between black and white architects and assisted in the formation of the Association of Black Architects in that nation, a sister organization to NOMA, during the transition from apartheid to democratic rule. His work, both civic and professional has been recognized in local and national print media, including NOMANews, the New York Times, Metropolitan Magazine, the Richmond Times Dispatch, the Richmond Free Press, Progressive Architecture Magazine and Inform Magazine. In 1999, he was called to pastor the First Nottoway Baptist Church in Crewe, Virginia. He is the proud father of two children, Ryan (17) and Regina (14) who are both exceptionally gifted students in Richmond Public Schools.
Education and Degrees
Master of Architecture in Urban Design, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, 1979
Bachelor of Architecture, Hampton (Institute) University, 1977
2008-present Chair and Associate Professor of Architecture Hampton University
1982-1984 Northern Virginia Community College Alexandria, Virginia
1980-1983 US Army Corps of Engineering School Fort Belvoir, Virginia
1992 Design Award, Bethlehem Baptist Church
1994 Design Award, Virginia Biotechnology Research Park
2007, 2008 Design Award, Montgomery County Parking Deck #11
2003 Lecture, Taking the Blows (Hampton University)
1994 Lecture, Empowering Communities Through Design (Auburn University and others)
1987 Lecture, Community Participation in Design, (Virginia Tech and others)
1985 Commonwealth of Virginia
1985 District of Columbia
1989-present National Organization of Minority Architects
1983-present American Institute of Architects
1983-present President, KEi Architects, Alexandria / Richmond, Virginia