APA Foundation L'Enfant Legacy Donor: Irving Hand, FAICP
With nearly 60 years of nationally recognized accomplishments, professor and planner Irving Hand, FAICP, exemplified professional planning and personal excellence.
As part of a lifetime of dedication to the profession, Hand made an inspirational bequest to the APA Foundation, leaving behind a legacy sure to inspire the next generation of planners. The Foundation's L'Enfant Legacy Society honors and recognizes donors like Hand, whose estate gifts to the APA Foundation make a significant impact both now and in the future.
As one of the first champions of regional planning, Hand was instrumental in establishing the Tulsa, Oklahoma, Metropolitan Area Planning Commission in the early 1950s. This planning commission consolidated the Tulsa City and Tulsa County Planning Commissions and was one of the earliest of its kind in the nation.
Recognized as an original charter member of the American Planning Association, Hand was heavily involved in merging the American Institute of Planners and American Society of Planning Officials, having served as president of AIP from 1965 to 1967 and again, as president of APA in 1981 and 1982. He earned AICP certification in 1959 and was inducted into the AICP College of Fellows in 2000.
Throughout his career, he would be credited for many crucial developments that impact the profession today. Under his guidance, Nashville-Davidson County, Tennessee, adopted a plan that established as a framework for strengthening city-county government functions, which included planning. In addition, he stewarded the passage of a 1962 referendum establishing a metropolitan government for the growing region.
Following his tenure with the county, Hand was appointed director of the Pennsylvania State Planning Board under Gov. William Scranton in 1962. While there, he helped shape Pennsylvania’s planning legislation, with the adoption of Pennsylvania’s first Municipalities Planning Code, which remains in effect today.
After leaving the State Planning Board in 1972, Hand joined the planning faculty at Pennsylvania State University, Capital College, where he served as the chair of the Graduate Degree Program in Urban and Regional Planning. It was also here where Hand established the Mildred and Irving Hand Scholarship Fund for Public Affairs, Urban and Regional Planning.
In 2014, he was honored by APA with the National Planning Excellence Award for a Planning Pioneer:
When asked about his secret to maintaining a successful planning career over many decades, Hand answered, “It's knowing how to work with people and being prepared and ready to adapt to change.” He continued, “Most importantly, it's recognizing that you are affecting people's lives. That's a big responsibility."