CWRU Blue Book Club

two stacks of books with an open book between them

The CWRU Blue Book Club features a book selection each fall and spring semester, with a focus on alumni authors, as well as the CWRU common reading book. The book discussion will take place a few weeks after the announcement of a new selection and will be held in the Blue Book Club Community in CWRU Connect. Each book club discussion will include a virtual event spotlighting the author or another person connected with the book. 


Designing Victory: The Architect Who Dared, Dreamed, and Achieved International Acclaim 
A Memoir by Robert P. Madison, FAIA with Carlo Wolff 

The cover of the book Designing Victory: The Architect Who Dared, Dreamed, and Achieved International Acclaim Robert P. Madison & Carlo Wolff, featuring an artist's portrait of Robert Madison

The CWRU Blue Book Club kicked off with a discussion of Designing Victory: The Architect Who Dared, Dreamed, and Achieved International Acclaim, a memoir by Robert P. Madison, FAIA (ARC '48, HON '04) with Carlo Wolff.

In celebration of Black History Month, the book club selection featured a conversation with Robert P. Madison, FAIA, on February 27, 2021.

As a decorated member of the historic Buffalo Soldiers, Second Lieutenant Robert P. Madison decided to enroll in the architecture program at Western Reserve University, only to be summarily denied access based on his race. He returned in full dress uniform, with his Purple Heart from an injury sustained in Italy in World War II, and declared they could not keep him out of college. Under duress, he was admitted.

Madison, the great-grandson of slaves, had the drive and brilliance to thrive, despite attempts from others to determine his future for him. In 1954, Madison opened the first African-American architectural firm in Ohio, and only the 10th in the country. This was only the beginning of his many accomplishments and contributions to society — and the challenges he would overcome along the way.

Where can I purchase Designing Victory?
Digital and physical copies of the book are available via PayPal and Amazon on the book's website, designingvictory.com. A limited number of copies of the book are available for purchase at the CWRU Bookstore. Audiobook versions of the book can be found in the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores. The audiobook is read by another famous Clevelander, former news anchor and current commentator for WKYC-TV, Leon Bibb.