Today, the American Institute of Architects selected Ronald Skaggs, FAIA, as the 2017 recipient of the Edward C. Kemper Award, named after the AIA’s first executive director and given to an architect who contributes their time to service in the AIA and the profession. Skaggs has dedicated his career to designing healthcare facilities and ensuring that he has built lasting impressions with his clients, admirers, and colleagues. Skaggs will be presented with the award itself at the 2017 AIA National Convention in Orlando.
Skaggs began his 45-year-long career at Texas A&M, where we he received his B.Arch. and M.Arch. After serving the U.S. Army Surgeon General as a healthcare facility designer, he joined international firm HKS Architects in 1972 and began the firm’s specialized healthcare division. Eight years later, Skaggs was elevated to principal at HKS and then went on to become the chairman and chief executive officer from 1988 to 2001. After his term as CEO, he served as chairman from 2002 to 2007 and is currently the chairman emeritus. HKS now consists of 19 offices in the United States and seven more abroad.
“Ron is a valuable role model of leadership and service, showing others what is possible when someone sees a need and steps forward to assure it is addressed,” states RK Stewart, FAIA, 2007 AIA president, in a recommendation letter. “Time and time again Ron has answered the AIA’s call and contributed to making solutions happen.”
As the 76th president of AIA National in 2000, Skaggs established the first financial committee and created international relationships with other architectural associations like the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Japan Institute of Architects, and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Skaggs has also served as the 51st chancellor of the AIA College Fellows, a past president of the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health, and a past president of AIA Dallas.
Skaggs joins another AIA past president and previous Kemper recipient Terrance Brown, FAIA, who won the award in 2016 for his contribution to disaster recovery and preparedness. Other recent Kemper winners include are Edward Mazria, FAIA, in 2015 with his continued battle against climate change and Fredric Bell, FAIA, in 2014 with his post-disaster programs in New York City and history with AIA New York.
The 2017 Edward C. Kemper Award jury: Illya Azaroff, AIA, of Brooklyn-based +LAB architects; Hans Butzer, AIA, of Oklahoma City-based Butzer Architects and Urbanism; Damian Farrell, FAIA, of Michigan-based Damian Farrell Design Group; Jared Edgar Mcknight, Assoc. AIA, of Philadelphia-based Wallace Roberts & Todd; and Lynn M. Perkins, AIA, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.