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Obituary of Jawaid Haider, 67


Jawaid Haider, 67, of State College, passed away peacefully early this morning at Mt. Nittany Medical Center. At his side were his wife, Talat and their twin boys, Shuja and Asad.

Born April 5, 1951 in Karachi, Pakistan, he was the son of Syed Akram Hussain and Amna Sultan. Dr. Haider is survived by his wife, Talat Azhar, who remains at home in State College. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his sons Shuja Haider, living in New York, and Asad Haider, living in State College. He is also survived by his two sisters and three brothers, and was preceded in death by one brother and one sister. He was beloved by family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and students alike.

Dr. Haider, a Professor of Architecture at Penn State, received his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. His research interests included architectural issues relevant for children, intergenerational design, public space, architectural design education, and comparative theoretical perspectives in architecture. More recently his research interests expanded to include active living strategies in parks and recreation systems. His research explored how the design of an environment or space could be child-friendly and elder-friendly, and he sought to make spaces for all generations to share, and to allow people to better form relationships.

He received many awards and recognitions, most notably the Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to Australia, the College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, and the Inaugural Award for Faculty Outreach, "in recognition of exemplary leadership in applying scholarship in support of society." He was involved at every level of education, research, scholarship, and service. Most recently, he won the 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Arts and Architecture Center for Pedagogy in Arts and Design, which "recognizes faculty members who have contributed significantly to the intellectual and artistic life of the college through their teaching."

He was a sought-after teacher and advisor for both design studio teaching and theory. As Principal Investigator of a major research project, "Planning and Design Strategies for Healthy Living, Parks and Recreation in Pottstown Area," he influenced both community design and healthy living. He published extensively and received major funding for his research, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Graham Foundation. Dr. Haider lectured and offered workshops throughout the world – in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United States. As a faculty member and curriculum designer, Dr. Haider was instrumental in shaping the reputation of excellence held by the Department of Architecture at Penn State, especially in advanced architectural design and research of the thesis year of the Bachelor of Architecture program. He was the Coordinator of the thesis year level for many years and was influential in designing and developing the graduate programs in Architecture.

More recently, he served as Dean of Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture for two years. For his contributions to architectural education in Pakistan, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute of Architects of Pakistan. Locally, he had a rich involvement with Global Connections, the American Association of University Women and was the consultant for the design of the Discovery Center for Kids in State College. Dr. Haider's colleagues and friends recall his quick wit, wry humor, his ability to unpack any thesis topic, and his readiness to nurture a graduate student to endure long hours and finish strong.

He loved spending time with his family, and vigorous discussion of national and international politics. He was known for sparring with the best on the tennis court, where he was famous for his strategic drop shots. He managed to teach up to the last week of his life and, realizing a wish he articulated to colleagues as, "to either die in the classroom or on the tennis court." He enjoyed eating Szechuan food, watching the movies of Mel Brooks, and listening to Urdu ghazals. He had a sweet tooth and he was a rock. Steady and unflappable, he shook all of his friends and colleagues the year he shaved off his mustache. Jawaid will be missed wholly and remembered fondly.

Relatives and friends will meet for burial at Spring Creek Cemetery across from the Centre Hills Country Club at noon on Sunday, December 9, 2018. A celebration of his life will follow from 1-3pm, at the Nittany Lion Inn, 200 W. Park Ave, State College.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at

Name of Deceased

Jawaid Haider



Date of Death


Date of Birth


Funeral Home

Koch Funeral Home

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