Architecture Alumni and Friends Create the Gaines Blackwell Endowment for Interior Architecture
To commemorate the 90_20 interior design/interior architecture program anniversary, several former students have established an endowment in honor of one of the program’s most beloved professors, Gaines Blackwell. The Founders of the Gaines Blackwell Endowment for Interior Architecture include alumni in McALPINE (Bobby McAlpine, founding principal), Craig Dixon, Ken Pursley, Donald Brown, Libby Sims Patrick, Jamie Pfeffer, Jay, Mia and Vini Nathan, John Sease, Paige Schnell, and John Stolarski. The endowment honors Gaines for his exceptional teaching and guidance and for his profound influence on the program, mentoring and inspiring students for many years.
As a professor who taught architecture, interior design, and interior architecture from 1974 until 2001, Gaines was instrumental in helping interior design evolve into the renamed and redeveloped interior architecture program. As he explained in CADC100, “I really didn’t have an academic background in any of the subjects I taught at Auburn. But I bounced back and between the three for 10-odd years,” he says. “The program worked well. But then we began to hear from our students that when they graduated, they were somewhat limited by not having an actual degree in architecture.” Nobody, Blackwell relates, was totally clear about how to fill the space between Architecture and Interior Design. “So, we set out to fix that,” he adds (p. 27). In consultation with interior design alumni, interior architecture was designed and launched in 1997. It is the only dual-degree program of its kind in the United States.
The Gaines Blackwell Endowment for Interior Architecture, announced at the 90_20 anniversary celebration at Jule Collins Smith Museum on March 31, 2017, will support student activities in Interior Architecture.
“The 90_20 Anniversary Celebration was an important moment to recognize the legacy of our program, one which Gaines helped create,” says Kevin Moore, program chair for interior architecture. “The deep history of interior design education at Auburn gives us both longevity and conviction. With the support of the Gaines Blackwell Endowment for Interior Architecture, the program can award scholarships and attract students of the highest academic achievement. The program can’t thank the Founders of the Endowment enough.”
The goal for the Gaines Blackwell Endowment for Interior Architecture is $100,000. To date, $55,000 has been raised in commitments and cash. The founding donors cordially invite all alumni and friends to contribute here. Every gift counts and all are welcome. Gifts and commitments also can be paid monthly or annually for up to five years.