Fellows

Principles Underlying Advancement to the AIA College of Fellows

The American Institute of Architects confers “Fellowship” on individual architects who have been deemed by their peers to have shown distinction before the public and the profession as a model architect. Architects advanced to the College of Fellows have made significant and lasting contributions to architecture and society.

Advancement to the AIA College of Fellows is one of the highest honors that can be conferred on an American architect. As of this writing in the year 2000, about 1250 practicing architects and 500 emeritus members are currently so honored. Of those, roughly 35 are living Arizona architects. The American Institute of Architects represents the majority of the nation’s registered architects with membership in excess of 60,000 members.

The objects and the means of their fulfillment by notable and outstanding achievement are as follows:

  1. To promote the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession.
  2. To advance the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training, and practice.
  3. To coordinate the building industry and the profession of architecture.
  4. To ensure the advancement of the living standards of people through their improved environment.
  5. To make the profession of ever-increasing service to society.

Each year, applications are received along with extensive materials of each architect’s built work, publications, positions held, and honors received. Each application must receive the endorsement by a local AIA Chapter of membership, or be signed by 10 AIA members in good standing. Additionally, the applicant must submit 7 letters of reference from members of the College of Fellows, civic and community officials, elected political leaders, or persons of significance who can attest to the applicant’s high moral and ethical outlook of architectural practice. A selection panel is assembled annually composed of Fellows from all parts of the United States. Each application is subjected to the highest scrutiny and review by that jury.

A special medal and sash are awarded to successful candidates at the annual national AIA convention and recipients are conferred the title, “Fellow of the American Institute of Architects”. Most members use the initials “FAIA” after their names in professional correspondence and wear the special medal and neck sash at black tie and formal events. In most cases, recipients have made significant contributions in two or more categories of the “objects” listed above. The honor is conferred for the life of the architect. Since 1961, there have been 61 Arizona architects advanced to the AIA College of Fellows representing all aspects of architectural theory, education, and practice.

Annual Meeting of the Arizona AIA Fellows

Each year the Arizona members of the AIA College of Fellows convene in Casa Grande to review nominations for the prestigious AIA Arizona Architects Medal. This rare medal is conferred on an Arizona AIA member who has “…advanced the practice of architecture and in recognition of their outstanding professional achievements and sense of social responsibility…” The medal may or may not be conferred in any given year. To date, only¬†45 such medals have been awarded to Arizona architects.

In addition, the Arizona Fellows discuss agenda items of leadership relating to the national College of Fellows, brief reports from the U of A and ASU Schools of Architecture, and other items of AIA Arizona business requesting leadership input.

Typically attended by roughly 20 AIA Fellows from Tucson, Nogales, Flagstaff and the Phoenix metro area. Participation and attendance is limited to members of AIA College of Fellows.

Written by James Logan Abell, AIA
Editor, The Arizona AIA Fellows Book

Arizona Fellows (by year)

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