Union Studio Architecture & Community Design, Nat Rea (photo)

AIAri Architectural Forum & Scholarships

The AIA Rhode Island Architectural Forum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that was established by AIA Rhode Island (a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects) to support educational programs within the architectural community.

AIAri Architectural Forum Scholarships Announced!

The American Institute of Architects/Rhode Island Chapter is pleased to announce the winners of the Twelfth Annual Scholarship Program. They are: Wei-Chun Cheng, Rhode Island School of Design; David Amdie, Rhode Island School of Design; Nicholas Marques, Roger Williams University, ; and Luigini Luc, Roger Williams University recipient of the DF Pray Scholarship.

Mr. Cheng is the recipient of the Norton Salk Memorial Scholarship for design excellence.

A presentation of the scholarships will be made at the 2017 AIA Rhode Island Design Awards, Thursday, December 7, 2017, 6:00pm at Roger Williams Park Botanical Gardens, Providence, RI. Scholarship funds will be credited to the winning student’s college account for the payment of educational costs related to the pursuit of their professional architectural studies. 

The Scholarship Award Committee of the AIA/RI Architectural Forum reviews the applications, selects the winners, and determines the amount of each scholarship award. 

More information on the annual program is located on the AIAri website at www.aia-ri.org. 

To be eligible applicants must be either enrolled in an accredited school in Rhode Island, pursuing studies in architecture, landscape architecture, interior architecture or historic preservation, or a Rhode Island resident studying one of the listed subjects at an accredited school outside of Rhode Island. The AIA/RI Architectural Forum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization supporting educational programs within the architectural community. 

To date, the Architectural Forum has awarded over $139,000 in scholarships funded by AIA/Rhode Island’s endowment with the RI Foundation and other donations from AIA National and the family of Norton Salk. 

The American Institute of Architects is a national organization with its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and state and local chapters throughout the country. Through a culture of innovation, The American Institute of Architects empowers its members and inspires creation of a better-built environment.

For more information contact AIAri at 401-272-6418 or email Jennifer Zolkos at

The Forum’s primary vehicle for supporting educational program is the Scholarship program. The Forum has awards multiple scholarships to financial aid eligible students studying architecture at an accredited school in Rhode Island or be a Rhode Island resident studying one of these subjects at an accredited school outside of Rhode Island. Funding for architectural scholarships is provided by proceeds from AIA Rhode Island’s annual golf outing. In addition to the AIAri Scholarship program the family of Norton E. Salk set up a scholarship fund in his name. Because of this, AIAri is please to offer the Norton E. Salk Scholarship for design excellence.

Norton E. Salk Scholarship

Norton Salk was a doer throughout his lifetime. A lifelong Rhode Island resident, he graduated from Classical High School, attended Brown University for one year, joined the U.S. Army Corps, and served in the Corps of Engineers. While in the Corps, he spent time in Italy and developed a great admiration of and passion for classical architecture. It led, following his return to the states and graduation from the University of Michigan, to a 55-year career as an architect.

Mr. Salk designed schools, nursing homes, shopping centers, office buildings, and private residences, including the A.T. Cross Headquarters, Southern New England School of Law, Western Hills Middle School, and a wing of the Rhode Island Veterans’ Home. The last five years of his practice were devoted primarily to pro bono work, including design of the Jewish War Veterans’ Memorial and consulting to Sophia Academy.

His children note that Mr. Salk also shared his enthusiasm for the profession by devoting time to professional organizations, including serving as president of the Rhode Island chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, and by mentoring architectural students, including his daughter.

“I remember visiting projects and seeing his work. I was in awe,” she shares, noting that she especially enjoyed working with him. “When faced with a challenging project, my father said to me, ‘Design is a problem waiting to be solved.’”

Norton Salk will continue to nurture architecture students through this scholarship fund, designated for the AIA Rhode Island Architectural Forum and to be used to assist students majoring in architecture at accredited Rhode Island schools.

Additional programs sponsored through the Forum include funding for architectural guidebooks to Providence and Newport, in association with the Providence Preservation Society and Newport Preservation Society as well as the publication Peter Harrison: America's First Architect in association with the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.

Donate to the Forum

Donations to the Forum are greatly appreciated and encouraged. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please consult your tax professional. To make a donation, please send your check made payable to:

AIA Rhode Island Architectural Forum
P.O. Box 6226
Providence, Rhode Island 02940

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