MN Architectural Foundation » Wigington Scholarship

Clarence Wigington Minority Architectural Scholarship

Created in 1992 as the Minority Architectural Scholarship, this fund was renamed to recognize the extraordinary professional and civic accomplishments of the first African-American municipal architect in the United States and the first licensed African-American architect in Minnesota. This scholarship provides tuition scholarships to minority students who wish to pursue a professional education in architecture at the University of Minnesota, and who hold promise for succeeding in an architectural career. Funding is provided through annual raffles at the AIA Minnesota Annual Convention and donations.


The Minnesota Architectural Foundation Presents The Latest Wigington Scholarship Recipient



Vanessa Abin-Fuentes, a third year architecture graduate student at the University of Minnesota and intern at a local architectural firm, has been awarded the 2013 Clarence Wigington Minority Scholarship.

Born in Mexico City, raised in Venezuela and educated in the United States, Vanessa describes her experiences with various cultures at a young age as shaping her into the person she is today, offering her an open mindedness that seamlessly merges with architectural practice and mentality. She now finds herself able to adapt to any situation thrown her way and concentrate on the problem or task at hand. Vanessa is determined to continue in the architectural industry with the hope of some day starting her own practice. With the help of the Wigington Scholarship, Vanessa says she will be able to concentrate on her architectural studies and future goals.






Namdi Alexander is the 2012 recipient of the Clarence W. Wiggington Minority Scholarship for students holding promise for success in an architectural career.  Namdi’s maturity, drive, hard-work, dedication to architecture, and his desire to serve his community as a role model and mentor gave him the edge in what was a difficult decision for the scholarship award committee.

Like many students, he has a financial gap to fill to achieve his goal of a Masters Degree in Architecture.  This $6,000 a year scholarship award will follow Namdi through successful completion of his Masters of Architecture degree.  It plays an essential part in helping him meet his goal.

Namdi grew up in the Twin Cities and is a full-time student, a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota, intern at an architecture firm and single father of a seven year old son.  He completed his bachelors of Science degree in architecture and is starting his second year in the Masters of Architecture program.

The Wigington Scholarship Recipients

Jonathan Jacobs
Pauv Thouk, AIA
Keon Blasingame