Perkins+Will announced on Thursday the creation of a new fellowship, The Philip Freelon Fellowship Fund, at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design (GSD). The new fund is named after the firm's North Carolina–based design director Philip Freelon, FAIA, and will support African Americans and other minority groups in their higher education in architecture and design at Harvard's GSD.
The GSD dean and Alexander and Victoria Wiley professor of design, Mohsen Mostafavi, states in a press release, “I thank Perkins+Will and Phil Freelon for their generosity in establishing this Fellowship as the creativity, dynamism, and success of our GSD community are enriched by and even contingent on an increasingly diverse student body.”
Freelon received a bachelor’s degree in environmental design from North Carolina State University and M.Arch. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1989-1990, he studied under the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard and has returned to the university as a visiting critic and lecturer.
In 2014, Perkins+Will acquired Freelon's firm, The Freelon Group, which was part of the design team for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. In the fellowship news release Perkins+Will’s chief executive officer Phil Harrison, FAIA, says Freelon is “one of the leading American architects of today." Freelon's portfolio also includes other large cultural projects such as the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta and the Emancipation Park in Houston.
“As the design profession continues to attract a more diverse talent base, this gift will provide students of color with financial assistance that could make pursuing an advanced degree at the GSD possible," Freelon said in a press release. "It’s an important step in broadening the GSD’s reach.”