AIA Nebraska honored three individuals at its November gala.
» Thomas L. Findley of Omaha was the recipient of the Harry F. Cunningham Gold Medal for Architectural Excellence in Nebraska. The Gold Medal is the highest honor the Nebraska Chapter of the American Institute of Architects can bestow and is awarded in recognition of the most distinguished achievement for service to the profession of architecture.
Findley has designed buildings and cities around the world. His passion for architecture helped give design excellence and its cultivation new emphasis and support in his firm, Leo A Daly. This, in turn, led to design innovation in all company projects, locally, nationally and internationally.
The Gold Medal commemorates the achievements of Harry Francis Cunningham, who came to Nebraska as lead architect for Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue’s office during the tower phase of construction for the State Capitol after Goodhue’s death in 1924. It was Goodhue’s revolutionary building design that won the nationwide competition in 1920 for the creation of the Statehouse in Lincoln. Cunningham later established the first school of architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
» State Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks was named the AIA Nebraska Legislator of the Year. The biannual award recognizes outstanding legislative contributions to the profession and the practice of architecture by a member of the Legislature.
Pansing Brooks has represented Legislative District 28 in Lincoln since 2014. Her successes over the last 10 years include co–chairing the effort to raise $6 million for Lincoln’s Union Plaza on Antelope Parkway, co–chairing a $250 million Lincoln Public Schools bond issue and co–chairing the $9.6 million campaign to renovate Nebraska’s Centennial Mall. Pansing Brooks also was a member of the coordinating committee that led the First Plymouth Church $10 million renovation campaign.
While in the Legislature, Pansing Brooks has made it her mission to improve lives by supporting women’s issues and ensuring affordable health care access to all Nebraskans. She is known for tackling tough issues. She has introduced and gotten legislation passed that increases penalties for human traffickers while increasing protections for victims. She also has gotten bills passed to improve the juvenile justice system and increase financial protections for college students. Pansing Brooks is a small-business owner and partner in her law firm — Brooks, Pansing Brooks — with her husband, Loel. They have three children.
» Sue Morris, president of Heritage Services in Omaha, was the recipient of the Architectural Foundation of Nebraska’s Distinguished Commitment to Architecture Award. She has been involved with numerous campaigns, totaling more than $660 million, including the $75 million capital and endowment campaign supporting Joslyn Art Museum and the Durham Museum, and the development of the $104 million Holland Performing Arts Center, as well as TD Ameritrade Park.
Her inspiration to the project team to support excellence and quality in architecture is legendary. The award is given to individuals outside the profession of architecture for their activities and accomplishments in the area of professional life, which have notably contributed to the advancement of architecture. The foundation’s mission is to inform Nebraskans of the importance of their environment and the value of architecture, and to raise awareness of the long-term impact of architecture as a signature of culture.