Charles C. Hight, FAIA, served as Dean of the UNC Charlotte College of Architecture from 1976 until 2002. Under his leadership, the College became an important city and regional resource and the program excelled. The enrollment more than doubled, while the faculty increased by almost four-fold, and the program moved into Storrs Hall, its current home. In addition, Hight oversaw the creation of a visiting designer program, a faculty development program, a visiting lecture series and exhibition series, and a Center City architectural/planning center. The program received accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in 1981.
Hight, a Baltimore native, studied engineering at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and the University of Maryland’s College of Engineering. Upon graduating in 1955, he was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force and became project officer for housing at Andrews Air Force Base and facilities for SAC in Iceland. In 1957, he returned to Baltimore to work for Shell Oil and began studying architecture at The Johns Hopkins University and drawing at Maryland Institute of Fine Arts. After he was promoted by Shell Oil to District Engineer for State of Alabama, he transferred his studies to Auburn University, graduating with a degree in architecture and a minor in behavioral studies.
The visiting critic on Hight’s graduation thesis commitee at Auburn was John Wade, who had just started the professional architecture program at Tuskegee Institute. Upon completion of student reviews, he offered Hight a faculty appointment. Hight began teaching at Tuskegee in 1965 and became head of the architecture department in 1968, raising substantial grant money to build the program, which achieved NAAB accreditation under his leadership.
Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Hight received a Fullbright Fellowship to study environmental design and planning in The Netherlands and was a fellow to the Salzburg International Seminar on Urban Design and Planning and East-West Center for Low-Cost Housing.
Active in the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), Hight served as ACSA president in 1982 and was named a Fellow of the AIA the following decade.
The Charles C. Hight Architecture Library, located on the second floor of Storrs Hall, is named in his honor. It is the only branch library at the University.