The College of Fellows, founded in 1952, is composed of members of the Institute who are elected to fellowship by a jury of their peers. Fellowship is one of the highest honors the AIA can bestow upon a member. Elevation to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual but also elevates before the public and the profession those architects who have made significant contributions to architecture and to society. The original idea of the College of Fellows is outlined in the History of the College of Fellows, which reads: “It is not the purpose of the fellowship to create an aristocracy of membership, but to give those who have shown their worth an accolade and a charge that their responsibilities have just begun.”
AIA Members, upon recommendation by their chapter, or by petition of five fellows, make application annually for advancement to the College of Fellows in one or more of the following categories:
- Design (design, urban design, and preservation)
- Education, Literature, Research, Practice
- Leadership of the Institute or Related Organization
- Advancement of Living Standards
- Alternative Career, Volunteer, Service to Society
AIA Baltimore includes many architects whose accomplishments might qualify them for fellowship and who should be encouraged to apply.
Purpose: The AIA Baltimore Fellows Committee (BFC) formed to provide support to individuals who are interested in pursuing fellowship. The charge of the BFC is:
- To identify and encourage potential candidates to seek fellowship and to inform them of the selection process.
- To review the credentials of Members presented to the BFC and to discuss the members’ chances for success. (Pursuit of fellowship is a personal decision. The role of the chapter committee should not be to determine, one way or the other, who applies for fellowship.)
- To provide input to the candidates and sponsors on the content and format of their submissions.
Process: During the period between the beginning of the year and the October due date for fellowship applications, the BFC will implement a process including:
- Call for Interest: Early in the year, announce to the chapter that a committee exists to provide information and assistance for members who feel they may be qualified for fellowship. In addition, the BFC will gather names of potential candidates based upon suggestions from current FAIAs, current and past chapter leadership, and others. The BCF will contact the members that are identified and encourage them to attend an open meeting to discuss the selection process.
- Open Meeting: the BFC will publicize and conduct an open information session/planning meeting designed to “demystify” the application process.
- Submission Assistance: During the period between February and October, the fellows Committee will implement a schedule addressing the following milestones:
- Confirmation of candidates’ commitment to the application process
- Identification of sponsors for each candidate
- Submission of preliminary summaries of the candidate’s achievements, category of nomination, and introductory statements
- Confirmation of Chapter’s commitment of support for the candidates’ nomination
- Initial, midpoint, and final sessions to provide review of the application components
- Execution of the Chapter’s responsibility for signatures as part of the final application
Ed Hord, FAIA
Hord Coplan Macht, Inc.
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