At the 80th Annual Conference in Galveston, 2019 President Mike Hellinghausen, AIA, announced the establishment of a new Honor Award, named after John Saunders Chase Jr. FAIA, to recognize the efforts of individuals, programs, or firms who have made strides in advancing EDI through their practice or in the profession. This year, we were thrilled to announce the first recipient of this award. Congratulations to Anzilla Gilmore, FAIA, for receiving this prestigious award.

Gilmore is assistant director for project management and engineering and a director of diversity and inclusion at Rice University. Her involvement in NOMA at the national level invigorated the organization and spurred unprecedented growth and engagement. She is also a  founding member of the Houston NOMA.

The first female African American registered architect in Houston, Gilmore was elevated to Fellowship in 2019. She rebuilt and expanded the Architects Foundation national scholarship program and created a mentorship program to connect recipients to the profession.

In 2018, Gilmore co-curated the exhibit “Chasing Perfection: The Legacy of Architect John S. Chase.” Discussions for the exhibit started in 2009 with Chase’s participation, with the final work being completed after nearly a decade of work.

Gilmore with Houston Public Library staff, Drucie Chase, and others on opening night of the John Chase exhibit.

Said AIA Houston Women in Architecture Committee Chair Kiza Forgie, AIA, when describing Gilmore:

Every award and every honor that lends its name to Anzie becomes a tool that is used to promote equity, diversity and inclusion. Awarding [her] the inaugural TxA John S. Chase award ensures that his name will be amplified every time Anzie does what she does best: elevate young black women architects and support equity events in Texas.


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Congratulations, Anzie, This is a well earned recognition of your efforts and dedication to our profession.
Dean Barnes


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