Campus Mourns Loss of Longtime Project Manager

By Lisa Cisneros on August 18, 2005

The late
Russell Akre

Russell Akre, a project manager for UCSF Capital Projects and Facilities Management (CPFM), passed away on Aug. 2. He was 61. Akre served as project manager for Genentech Hall, the first research building to open at UCSF Mission Bay, where 630 men and women worked at the peak of its construction. He also managed the successful completion of UCSF Mission Bay's third research building, known as QB3, and was about to begin management of a new Cardiovascular Research Institute building at the new campus. "We will all miss Russ's wisdom, perseverance, humor and dedication to UCSF," said Steve Wiesenthal, associate vice chancellor for CPFM. "He has been a star project manager: part cattle prodder, part patient teacher and all orchestral maestro." Akre, whose grandfather was a carpenter, earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota in 1968. Before joining UCSF, he worked for a number of years at the architecture firm of Stone, Marraccini and Patterson. After supervising several successful renovation projects on the Parnassus campus, Akre was chosen to oversee construction of the first research and, so far, largest building at UCSF Mission Bay. He was pleased that the original target date he set for completion of the $223 million, five-story building - October 2002 - held true. Faculty and staff began moving into the award-winning building in January 2003. "It's been a real thrill to see this building come out of the ground and get finished," Akre said of four-year project. "Trust me, there are daily frustrations and aggravations, but building things is fun." Akre took a lot of pride in the finished product: "This is an outstanding building, from the quality of the design to the use of materials. It is built to last 80 years." He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Patricia, and family, friends and co-workers. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 1710 Gilbreth Road, Burlingame, CA 94010. Source: Lisa Cisneros