Los Angeles, California Dec 8, 2021 (Issuewire.com) – The Association for Women in Architecture Foundation (AWAF) is pleased to announce the largest single financial gift in the non-profit’s history. On the eve of its 25th anniversary, AWAF has been honored by a transformative gift from the estate of architect Sarah Hays. The bequest will bolster the foundation’s endowment, strengthening in perpetuity AWAF’s mission to foster educational and professional leadership opportunities for women in architecture and related fields and to continue growing and enhancing their programs for emerging and established women designers.
“We are inspired and truly grateful for this extraordinary gift. In October 2020, we lost a treasured member of our community. Sarah Hays was a passionate leader, community advocate, and a talented designer working on projects and programs that benefited all Angelenos,” said AWAF President Lise Bornstein. “Her munificent gift will allow us to expand our Scholarship and Fellowship programs by offering significantly larger and more numerous awards.”
AWAF Vice President and incoming Board President Christina Monti added “Sarah’s generosity lays the foundation for pivotal growth within AWAF’s organization. As we celebrate the Association for Women in Architecture and Design (AWA+D)’s the centennial anniversary and AWAF’s 25th anniversary in 2022, we are excited to build upon 100 years of advocacy and reach new generations of women in design. Sarah’s gift profoundly impacts AWAF’s ability to do that.”
Hays’ considerable bequest will allow AWAF to more than double the organization’s scholarship and fellowship programs. AWAF will also establish a new $10,000 scholarship in the name of Sarah Hays to be awarded to a singular woman who exhibits great potential for groundbreaking work in the profession.
In addition to expanding Scholarship and Fellowship programs, AWAF is also exploring partnerships with organizations that complement and further the organization’s mission as a means of reaching even more varied and diverse groups.
Hays (1954 – 2020) was a Los Angeles architect and a powerful yet humble advocate for design. After earning a B.A. in history from Stanford, and pursuing a degree in interiors in her late 20s at the Instituto Europeo di Design while living in Rome for ten years, she returned to Los Angeles where she received her architectural license. As her professional career in small architecture firms across Los Angeles progressed, she became increasingly involved as a volunteer with professional, environmental, and political organizations. In addition to AWA+D membership and hosting AWAF fundraising events, Sarah was instrumental in the creation of the Expo Line’s Westwood Greenway and was recognized by the LA City Council for her leadership and dedication in the creation of the linear parkway. Her bequest provides a lasting memorial to her commitment to an enhanced environment in LA and her desire to empower and encourage women in her profession. The Hays’ gift supports women in architecture in an exceptional and unprecedented way.
AWAF offers scholarships and fellowships to young professionals and mid-career women in the industry. Scholarships are awarded to women students studying Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design and/or Land Planning, Interior Design, or Environmental Design leading to a college degree. Fellowships are awarded to professional women in architecture and allied arts. Applications open in January 2022 and close in March/April 2022. The recipients of the scholarships, fellowships, and new partnerships programs will be announced as part of the annual symposium.
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