William Merriweather Peña was born to a prominent family in Laredo, Texas, and graduated from high school in 1937. During World War II, he was honored for his military service in the U.S. Army with a bronze star and purple heart.
At Texas A&M University, Peña studied under William Wayne Caudill. In 1948, he graduated with a B.S. in architecture and became the fourth partner of his former instructor’s firm, Caudill Rowlett Scott, in 1949. With his partners, he became a pioneer in the area of architectural programming. In 1959, he and partner William Caudill co-authored an article in “Architectural Programming” which outlined the basic programming principles developed over ten years of experience. With John Focke and William Caudill, Peña wrote “Problem Seeking,” one of the first textbooks on architectural programming.
Over the span of his professional career, Peña contributed his programming expertise to CRSS projects on a regular basis while at the same time sharing his knowledge at architectural seminars and conferences in the U.S. and other countries.
In 1972, the American Institute of Architects distinguished Peña as a fellow, in acknowledgement of his important contributions to architecture.
The personal World War II memoirs of William M. Peña are now available.