Born in 1889 in the village of Gladdens, and having spent his young adult years in Rockwood, Somerset County, PA, Roscoe Edward "Ross" Shumaker went on to a career as chief architect at North Carolina State University and as executive secretary with the North Carolina Architectural Registration Board. He was the son of Samuel and Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Lepley) Shumaker of the family of Adam and Sarah (Comp) Lepley III.
In 1916, Ross received a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University and then furthered his studies at Penn State University and Harvard. He taught architecture in 1916 and 1919 at Penn State and worked in the field in 1917-1918 in Beckley, WV. Then in 1920, he relocated to Raleigh, NC, where he was named as professor of architecture at North Carolina State University, then known as the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering. Three years into his career at NC State, in 1923, he was tapped to be head of the college's Department of Architecture. He went on to serve on the faculty for 22 more years.
Ross's initial focus of teaching was on classical and Beaux-Arts styles of design, but as tastes changed, he adapted in the late 1930 to include more modern design styles. He also served as NC State's in-house architect for decades, supporting consulting architects such as Hobart Upjohn from New York in the design of Morris Hall. During the Great Depression, in 1939, he secured funding from the Works Progress Administration to design and construct eight buiildings on campus, among them Alexander Hall, Becton Hall, Berry Hall, Turlington Hall and a wing of Broughton Hall. Beyond campus, he designed structures during the 1948-1950 timeframe for the University of North Carolina at Ashville and Pembroke.
Upon retirement, Ross spent the balance of his life in active positions within the profession. Among his later roles was as president, executive secretary and regional director of the American Institute of Architects, North Carolina Chapter. He also spent 28 years with the North Carolina Architectural Registration Board as an officer and executive secretary. Additional memberships included the Society of Architectural Examiners and Society of Architectural Historians.