Advancing DIVERSITY in the profession by sponsoring promising minority students with focused and sustained financial support
Created in 1992 as the Minority Architectural Scholarship, this fund was renamed the Clarence Wigington Minority Architectural Scholarship 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.
Recent Wigington Scholarship Recipients
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. Wigington Minority Scholarship for students holding promise for success in an architectural career. Namdi’s maturity, drive, hard work, dedication to architecture, and 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 had a financial gap to fill to achieve his goal of a master's degree in Architecture. This $6,000-a-year scholarship award will follow Namdi through successful completion of his degree.
Namdi grew up in the Twin Cities and is a full-time student, a teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota, an intern at an architecture firm, and the single father of a seven-year-old son. He completed his bachelor's degree in Architecture and is starting his second year in the Master of Architecture program.