Robert L. Wesley Award

1. Scope

The Robert L. Wesley Award is a new yearly award that supports BIPOC undergraduate students enrolled in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, or structural engineering programs across the US. The $10,000 award is an unrestricted scholarship that aims to support the academic development of the awarded students. The award honors Robert L. Wesley, who joined SOM Chicago in 1964 and became the first Black partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Wesley has been involved in many civic and professional organizations, most notably serving as a founding board member of the Newhouse Architecture Foundation, which brings architecture and design programs to high schools.

2. Support

In 2020, the Robert L. Wesley Award will provide three $10,000 unrestricted awards.

In addition to the economic support, recipients of the award will be paired with one of the jurors who will act as their mentor for the year.

3. Eligibility

- The award is open to BIPOC students enrolled in an accredited architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, or engineering undergraduate program in the United States.
- Students need to be enrolled in a four- or five-year undergraduate program.
- Students can be enrolled in any year of their undergraduate program.
- A recipient of the Robert L. Wesley Award is not excluded from reapplying in subsequent years while enrolled in an undergraduate program.

4. Application Requirements

- One- to two-page personal statement describing the applicant's path in their chosen program, ambitions, challenges, and why they should receive the Robert L. Wesley Award.
- Letter of support by one faculty member or department chair familiar with the applicant's work.
- Digital portfolio or visual samples (less than 10 MB) are encouraged but not required.
- Two- to three-minute video statement in addition to the written statement is encouraged but not required.

Finalists for the Robert L. Wesley Award will be interviewed by representatives of the SOM Foundation and external jurors.

5. Jury

The Jury will include Robert L. Wesley, representatives of the SOM Foundation, and invited jurors from outside the Foundation. Iker Gil will act as the Chair (no vote).

6. 2020 Deadline

Monday, November 9, 2020 at 11:59pm CST

Robert L. Wesley, Chicago, 1996. © SOM.
28 September to 9 November 2020
Online Event
SOM Foundation