Michel C. Ashe, FAIA, will receive the 2013 William C. Noland Medal. The medal is the Society’s highest honor bestowed upon one of its members and recognizes a lifetime of achievement for an architect. Ashe will be acknowledged before his colleagues during the Annual Meeting of the Membership on Thursday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m. in room E11b during Architecture Exchange East, and the Medal will be presented at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Jefferson Hotel.
“For over four decades,” says former governor Tim Kaine, Hon. VSAIA, “Mike has dedicated him[self] to countless initiatives that have enabled him to convey the perspectives of an architect to [advance] the planning and development of Virginia.” Through award-winning design, dedicated service to his profession, and leadership in his community, he has exemplified the profession’s highest ideals and created an enduring legacy.
Serving in leadership positions in award-winning firms for more than 30 years, Ashe has demonstrated success in a broad and varied range of professional practice. In addition, he has long been an advocate for excellence in fire-station design. Through an ongoing relationship and dialogue with the Virginia Fire Chief’s Association, he has developed a robust series of seminars and whitepapers championing the principle that these civic buildings should be a source of pride for their municipalities.
As a founding member and president of the Virginia Beach Central Business District Association, he helped create innovative zoning ordinances which proved to be an invaluable tool for future development. His ongoing advocacy resulted in what is today the nationally recognized Town Center of Virginia Beach, helping to create more than 2,500 jobs. Decades after its founding, the CBDA is one of the largest and most active business associations in the state, and has become a model for other communities.
Ashe has a long history of providing leadership and support within the arts. He has committed countless hours to developing and delivering educational programming at institutions like the Chrysler Museum and Tidewater Community College. He was instrumental in the preservation of the historic Suffolk High School as well as its eventual transformation into the Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts. In addition, he has helped to raise millions of dollars for local theaters and museums by leading public forums, outreach programs, telethons and other fundraising activities.
Most notably, his service to his fellow architects, and the profession as a whole, has been truly exemplary. He has worked tirelessly to strengthen the AIA at all levels and, in particular, our Virginia Society AIA. He has served in dozens of positions at the local, state and national levels of the AIA. During his tenure on the National AIA Board of Directors and the Diversity Committee, he helped drive the development of several national initiatives to increase diversity within the AIA and the profession in general. He helped to establish the AIA’s “Shadow an Architect” program in 2007, which has since become an annual event.
For his unflagging commitment to the profession, and service to the community, the Society awards Michel C. Ashe, FAIA, the William C. Noland Medal.