A Truly Generous Challenge

by Mary-Margaret Zindren, EVP/Executive Director

Whether it be articles in ENTER, continuing education presentations, or letters for legislative advocacy, we write a lot about the big challenges of architecture. Major challenges with A.I. Huge challenges around affordable housing. Immense challenges like climate change.

In all that writing, I don’t think we’ve ever referred to a “generous” challenge. Until now.

The Minnesota Architectural Foundation (MAF) has received a truly generous challenge: an anonymous donor has committed to donate $50,000 to the Clarence Wigington Scholarship Fund – if we can raise a matching amount of $50,000 by one year from now, the anniversary of “Cap” Wigington’s birthday: April 21, 2025.

With this rare and compelling opportunity in hand, the MAF is launching the “Bridge the Gap” campaign. It is called “Bridge the Gap” in reference not just to meeting the $50,000 match that has been promised, but more importantly the gap between the demographics of the profession of architecture in Minnesota and the public this profession serves.

Thanks to the generosity of this architecture community during the recent Wigington campaign in 2021 the fund has grown from financially supporting 2 scholars per year at the University of Minnesota, to supporting 6 scholars simultaneously at both the University of Minnesota and Dunwoody College – and expanding support beyond the financial; we have been working to create community among Wigington Scholars. This connected cohort approach is making a real difference for students who are of races/ethnicities that are underrepresented in architecture.

Through this new Bridge the Gap campaign, this cohort can grow even bigger and the financial support provided to each student can be more meaningful.

You are invited to join us as we celebrate Cap Wigington, current and past Minnesota Architectural Foundation Wigington scholars, and kick off the Bridge the Gap matching donation campaign – May 21, 5-6:30 pm at Holman’s Table, a Wigington-designed building.

One family’s gift can inspire us all. If each of us donate meaningfully in the context of our unique circumstances, we can quickly meet this generous challenge. Please give today! 

View the May 2024 edition of Matrix.