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Jeff Riley spent his formative summers in the north woods of Maine at the family’s camp, which consisted of fourteen log cabins built by his great grandfather at the turn of the twentieth century. His love of woodcraft developed early on and led to his mastering the art of wooden boat building that years later would inform much of his architectural design. Riley’s talent for drawing, and his fascination with human individuality, led him to France, where he spent his days sketching people in the parks and bistros of Paris. His interest in capturing people’s character and varied expressions has also greatly influenced his approach to architecture.

Riley graduated from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, with a B.A. in Fine Arts in 1968. He received his Master of Architecture degree from Yale University in 1972 and soon thereafter co-founded the firm of Moore Grover Harper, the predecessor of Centerbrook Architects. His body of work includes private residences, community centers, hotels, churches, museums, sports arenas, music halls, and numerous educational facilities across the United States. Most notably, Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut has retained Riley as its sole architect since 1979.

Many of the buildings designed by Riley have been recognized as among the world’s best, including the Quinnipiac University Law School Center, the Wriston Art Center at Lawrence University and his own house in Guilford, Connecticut, which received the New England AIA Twenty-Five Year Award. In 1992 he was invested into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. Riley has received 71 design awards, including the prestigious American Institute of Architects Firm Award in 1998, the highest national recognition an American architectural firm can receive.