Brian Frickie Recognized as 2023 Noland Medalist

The William C. Noland Medal, as the highest award bestowed on a member architect, is intended to honor a distinguished body of accomplishments, sustained over time, that spans a broad spectrum of the profession and that transcends the scope of normal professional activities. For 2023, the medal is awarded to Brian J. Frickie, FAIA.

As senior principal, president, and CEO of Arlington’s Kerns Group Architects, Frickie has helped his firm earn more than a dozen design awards. Within the firm he has institutionalized a practice culture that encourages young professionals to take on leadership roles on projects, in the office, in the AIA, in the profession, and in their communities.

But it is his service to the profession at state, local, and national levels that sets him apart as a worthy recipient of the Noland Medal. As his nomination asserts, “his visionary activism and collaborative, participatory style uphold the profession’s stature, elevate the organization’s relevance, and empower individual architects.” Over four decades, Brian has worked through local, state, regional, and national AIA components and in community organizations to highlight the instrumental roles architects can have in solving society’s most pressing issues.

As president of AIA Virginia, Frickie implemented initiatives to reconnect architects in schools and firms, to rebuild relationships among architects at all levels of the AIA, and to prepare future leaders. As charter member and later chair of the AIA National Small Firm Roundtable (SFRT), Brian refined and refocused the SFRT to… “advance the mutual interests of architects practicing in small firms,” and rebranded it as the Small Firm Exchange (SFx). Within the SFx mission, Frickie conceived AIAKinetic, the SFx APP (Architects’ Professional Primer), and served as its program director and managing editor. And, while representing The Virginias on the AIA National Strategic Council, he convened the Professional Development Study Group and chaired the AIA National Strategic Planning Committee in creating AIA’s 2021-2025 Strategic Plan, which is now being implemented.

Frickie has devoted his career to preparing future generations of architects to take on the mantle of creating a better environment for society, becoming more effective leaders, and developing a better profession. His vision of a year-long leadership development academy for emerging professionals came to fruition in 2009 as AIA Virginia’s Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA) program, now one of the oldest and longest continuously operating leadership programs for architects in the country.

For his passionate service, Brian Frickie, FAIA, will be presented with the Noland Medal at the Visions for Architecture event on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at the Hippodrome Theatre in Richmond.

John H. Spencer Recognized as the 2020 Noland Medalist

John Henri Spencer, FAIA, has been recognized with the William C. Noland Medal by AIA Virginia for his leadership within architectural education beyond the status quo to create opportunities for generations of architecture students. As the highest honor bestowed by AIA Virginia to an architect, the Noland Medal is intended to honor a distinguished body of accomplishments, sustained over time, spanning a broad spectrum of the profession, and transcending the scope of normal professional activities. The honor is in memory of William C. Noland, FAIA, one of the founders of the AIA in Virginia, its second president, and Virginia’s first member to be elevated to fellowship.

Spencer is a pioneering leader for Black architects in America, a distinguished teacher who influenced thousands of students, and a committed educational administrator who created countless programs, initiatives, and pathways for growth and mentorship. Under his leadership, the study of architecture at Hampton University evolved through focused curricular development, fundraising, and academic excellence–the pinnacle of a 63-year career of service in education, in the public arena, and to the profession of architecture. Spencer was born in Monrovia, Liberia to missionary parents serving at the Suehn Industrial Mission, which influenced his philosophy for teaching, community and professional service and social action. After high school in Huntington, West Virginia, John enrolled in the architectural engineering program at the Agricultural and Technical College (now university) in Greensboro, North Carolina. His education was interrupted by service in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and, upon discharge, John transferred to Hampton Institute (now University) graduating in 1956 with highest honors.

Spencer joined the faculty of the School of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he co-founded the Committee for the Collegiate Education of Black Students (CCEBS) with support from the Ford Foundation to increase the number of Black students enrolled at the school. The first group recruited by CCEBS arrived in 1968 and of the original 128 students, 90 graduated four years later in 1972–more than the total number of Black graduates of Amherst combined in its 105 years. In its first decade, CCBES recruited and Amherst graduated more than 2,000 Black students. At Amherst, he also led efforts to provide volunteer tutoring for Black students and led the Amherst Human Relations Council and Fair Housing Committee, and established Black history education in high schools that brought about positive change in the town of Amherst and beyond.

In 1970, Spencer returned to the Hampton Institute as Chair of the Department of Architecture, where he encouraged students to look beyond the campus gates and involve themselves in the larger community. Notably, he initiated a student exchange program between Hampton and Amherst, and a broader travel program soon followed, growing out of a need to strengthen the fifth-year planning studio. It began with trips to large American cities supported by alumni who provided housing and meals at no cost. With the support of faculty, Spencer revised and expanded the program to require a two-week travel module to foreign cities, from Europe to Asia, and from Africa to Latin America. Since then, he has always led by example, becoming the first Black architect elected to the National Architectural Accrediting Board, first Black architect appointed to the Virginia Licensing Board, and assuming numerous other local and national positions of influence within the profession.

In his nomination letter, Professor and Dean Emeritus of Howard University, Harry G. Robinson III, FAIA, noted, “His consistent leadership has contributed to the strength of the African American narrative in architecture and has increased the richness and stability of the Hampton University Department of Architecture. If the Noland Medal is the pinnacle of recognition, the contributions of Professor Spencer are nearly unmatched and exceeded most.”

The William C. Noland Medal will be presented at Visions for Architecture on Thursday, Oct. 8 in an online awards ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. The program is free but registration is required.

Noland Medal Awarded to Bob Moje in 2019

A founding principal of VMDO Architects, Robert W. Moje, FAIA, will be recognized with the William C. Noland Medal at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at the Hilton Downtown Richmond. As the highest honor bestowed by AIA Virginia to an architect, the Noland Medal is intended to honor a distinguished body of accomplishments, sustained over time, spanning a broad spectrum of the profession, and transcending the scope of normal professional activities. The honor is in memory of William C. Noland, FAIA, one of the founders of the AIA in Virginia, its second president, and Virginia’s first member to be elevated to fellowship.

“Bob’s work in architecture is framed by three essential, interrelated commitments: a commitment to the discipline and practice as a public, civic endeavor; a commitment therefore to the communities in which he is called to work; and further, a specific commitment to education as both the fundamental design commission and the fundamental societal value … [his] design vision and leadership is purposeful, utterly authentic, and deeply holistic.”

Peter MacKeith, Dean and Professor, University of Arkansas

Moje has been a leader in the planning and design of educational facilities for more than 42 years. Through his award-winning designs, research, and professional and public service, he has advanced the practice of educational facility design considerably. His innovative instructional environments have elevated the level of discourse on design, teaching, learning, and the communal aspect of educational facilities on an international scale. In 2014, he served as chair for the global AIA Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) conference titled The Value of Design: Enhancing Education through Architecture in Barcelona, Spain.

A regular juror for awards programs, including the national CAE Design Awards, he supports innovative work through the recognition of design solutions that enhance learning. He has also collaborated with the National Institutes of Health, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and the Green Schools National Network to study the environmental effects of school buildings on children’s health and happiness. In addition to receiving the 2012 Prize for Design Research and Scholarship from the AIA Virginia, he partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council to develop a LEED Credit for school buildings that contribute to the physical fitness and health of thier occupants.

Moje has a long history of service to his profession and his community. Since 1997 he has served as the only architect on the Commonwealth of Virginia Joint House/Senate Subcommittee on Educational Infrastructure. He has also contributed his time on the Charlottesville Board of Architecture review, including a stint as chair, the Virginia Computer Foundation, the Virginia Center for Architecture, and numerous others.  

Beyond his design and research accomplishments, he has been an exemplary leader at VMDO. He helped establish a firm culture that is people-oriented, family-friendly, and inclusive of different viewpoints, backgrounds, and experience levels. He has contributed an effective transition plan and a generous profit-sharing system that is available to all at the firm.

Celebrating 2018 Noland Honoree Jack Davis, FAIA

We celebrated the 2018 William C. Noland honoree Jack Davis, FAIA at Visions for Architecture on Nov. 9, 2018.


Jane Cady Rathbone, FAIA, to Receive the William C. Noland Medal

Jane Cady Rathbone, FAIA, Chief Executive Officer of Hanbury in Norfolk, will be recognized with the William C. Noland Medal at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, at the Hotel John Marshall. The William C. Noland Medal is the highest award bestowed on a member architect and is intended to honor a distinguished body of accomplishments, sustained over time, that spans a broad spectrum of the profession and that transcends the scope of normal professional activities.

Jane Rathbone, FAIA

Through her prolific body of work and practice of nearly 40 years, Rathbone has become an international influence on the planning and design of living-learning communities as vital components in the academic, social, and architectural fabric of university campuses throughout America and abroad. Her colleague and nominator Nicholas Vlattas, AIA, says, “She has caused universities to recognize that intentional planning of the collegiate residential experience results in significant out-of-the-classroom learning and fosters sustained emotional attachment to place.” Today, her influence, and that of the firm is felt on more than 150 campuses.

One shining example of Rathbone’s campus vision is Tennessee’s Rhodes College, for which she led a team in 2000 to envision a master plan for the 21st century. Already a beautiful campus, the new construction, and renovations over nearly two decades were designed to enrich their architectural heritage, to create a robust student experience and to increase faculty/student interaction. Just five years into the transformation, Rhodes awarded Rathbone the College’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for selfless service to the College and its campus. The success shows as Rhodes has experienced an unprecedented increase in retention and academic rankings over the past 17 years.

While guiding Hanbury, Rathbone has grown her award-winning firm into an internationally recognized practice. Hanbury has earned more than 100 design awards, and she has led a significant number of these award-winning projects. Rathbone seeks opportunities to motivate good design throughout the firm, leading the firm’s learning culture by inviting provocative lecturers and organizing programs to stimulate thinking, discussion and personal growth. In 2004, the firm was named the T. David Fitz-Gibbon Virginia Firm of the Year by AIA Virginia.

Rathbone shares her deep knowledge with colleagues, clients, students, the public and the profession, from teaching Hanbury’s Summer Scholars about “Strategic Planning in a Design Practice” to serving on the board of the Design Futures Council. Notably, she served on the board of the Virginia Foundation for Architecture as its home at The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design was established.

For her design excellence and dedicated leadership, AIA Virginia awards Jane Cady Rathbone the William C. Noland Medal.

And the Honorees Are…

AIA Virginia is pleased to recognize eight Virginians with 2016 Honors awards for their life commitment to creating, preserving and enhancing Virginia’s communities. These will be presented at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Robert J. Dunay, FAIA
Robert J. Dunay, FAIA

Virginia Tech Center for Design Research Director, ACSA Distinguished Professor and T.A. Carter Professor of Architecture Robert J. Dunay, FAIA, will be awarded the William C. Noland Medal. This is the highest award given to a member architect. Dunay’s work spans a 40-year career integrating teaching, research, and scholarship. He has established innovative cross-disciplinary projects connecting academia and architectural practice. In addition to teaching and influencing thousands of architects, his co-leadership of projects such as LumenHAUS which won an international Solar Decathlon Competition in Spain have brought worldwide acclaim to Virginia architecture. He has taken students abroad and created the only pre-professional summer camp focused on design for high school students in Virginia. His supporters credit him with the high national ranking of Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture and Design.


Jaan Holt
Jaan Holt

Virginia Tech Patrick and Nancy Lathrop Professor of Architecture Jaan Holt will be recognized with the Architecture Medal for Virginia Service. This is AIA Virginia’s most prestigious public award, honoring individuals or organizations that have made an unusually significant contribution to Virginia’s built environment or the public’s understanding and awareness of the built environment. For 44 years, Holt has served in the university’s architecture program including a six-year stint as chair. More than 35 years ago he co-founded the university’s Washington Alexandria Architecture Center (WAAC), then permanently relocated to Alexandria to become the center’s director. He established a consortium to bring faculty and students from other national and international schools to WAAC creating an ethnically, culturally and educationally diverse program. Holt has elevated awareness of superb architecture by organizing several high-profile, Washington-based competitions, bringing international attention to WAAC and Virginia Tech.


Corey Clayborne, AIA
Corey Clayborne, AIA

Central Virginia architect R. Corey Clayborne, AIA, project manager and senior architect at Wiley|Wilson will receive the Award for Distinguished Achievement. Clayborne is active in AIA Richmond and AIA Virginia, serving on both boards of directors. He is particularly known for his mentorship of the next generation of architects, focusing on their entry into the AIA, licensure and professional and personal growth. His service to the community includes serving on the Charlottesville Planning Commission and the 100 Black Men of Central Virginia Mentoring program.


Katherine Williams, AIA
Katherine Williams, AIA

Rachel Shelton, AIA
Rachel Shelton, AIA

Richmond architect Rachel Shelton, AIA, project manager and project architect with Glavé &Holmes and Northern Virginia architect Katherine Williams, AIA, assistant project manager at Marion Construction are each to be honored with the Virginia Emerging Professional Award. In addition to her work with a variety of clients, Shelton has taken on a strong mentoring role. She serves on the AIA Richmond board and organizes networking opportunities. She also is a leader in Richmond Women in Design and a licensing advisor to new architects. Williams has advanced the profession through AIA service, writing, teaching and facilitation events. She is a past chair of the AIA Housing Knowledge Community advisory group, former editor of the National Organization of Minority Architects magazine and has organized numerous events connecting minority women architects.

Andrew Baxter
Andrew Baxter

Willie Graham
Willie Graham

Colonial Williamsburg Curator of Architecture William Graham and metal conservator Andrew Baxter will receive AIA Virginia Honors. In the 35 years Graham has been at Colonial Williamsburg, he has become a leading authority on architecture spanning 200 years in Virginia. His impact goes far beyond the scope of Colonial Williamsburg having served as a consultant for historic landmarks including Montpelier, Monticello, Blandfield, and Mount Vernon. Baxter, owner, and principal of Bronze et al Ltd.  has enhanced and protected many well-known pieces of  public art in Virginia and beyond. Of particular note is his work on all 13 statues of the George Washington Equestrian Monument at the Virginia State Capitol, the Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Maury statues along Richmond’s Monument Avenue and President James Monroe’s tomb canopy in Hollywood Cemetery.

Rhea George
Rhea George, Hon. AIA Virginia

AIA Virginia Managing Director Rhea George will receive Honorary Membership in AIA Virginia in recognition of what AIA Virginia Executive Vice President/CEO Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA calls “thoughtful and dedicated leadership in service to architects.” She has held a number of different positions on AIA Virginia’s professional staff and she has stepped up many times to fill temporary vacancies along with carrying out her normal duties. In the community, she has held several positions as a Chesterfield Board of Supervisors appointee. She’s a co-chair of the United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg Education Action Council and she developed a Girl Scout architect badge program which she is currently encouraging the Girl Scouts to reinstate as a way to pave the way for more women to become architects.

Join us as we celebrate these honorees at the Visions for Architecture Gala on Nov. 4 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. RSVP online>>

Sanford Bond Honored With Noland Medal

Sanford Bond, FAIA, Founder and Principal of 3north in Richmond, Va., will be recognized with the William C. Noland Medal at the Visions for Architecture gala on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, at the Science Museum of Virginia. The William C. Noland Medal is the highest award bestowed on a member architect, and is intended to honor a distinguished body of accomplishments, sustained over time, that spans a broad spectrum of the profession and that transcends the scope of normal professional activities.

Sanford Bond, FAIA
Sanford Bond, FAIA

“Through the firms in which he has worked and established, Sandy has been an active force in Richmond for over four decades, working tirelessly to raise the quality of design and the access to it throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is dedicated to the profession and to the next generation to carry it forward,” says J. Mitchell Rowland, III, AIA.

His work includes institutional, cultural, and arts-related projects in dense urban areas as well as educational and recreational buildings in suburban and parkland settings. His portfolio of residential work includes a collection of private homes in places as remote as Nova Scotia and the Caribbean, and over thirty renovation and preservation projects in Richmond’s historic Fan District.

Through the years, Sandy has provided thoughtful mentorship to young architects and interns who have benefited immensely from his insight and experience. He has also served as a visiting critic for student design presentations at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, offering guidance to the next generation of architects.

With a desire to serve the profession and the community, Sandy has held leadership positions including a term as President of AIA Richmond, Trustee of The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design, Chair of the editorial committee and founding member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Inform magazine, the Board of Directors for the Fan District Association, the Richmond Children’s Museum and the Historic Richmond Foundation.

Fred Cox, Jr., FAIA, Principal of Marcellus Wright Cox Architects says, “It has been my privilege to know Sandy personally and professionally. I have grown to admire how he has and is still developing his considerable and broad design skills, evolving his professional practice, and has continued his own education while sharing it all with his peers and his clients. Sandy has assembled these assets while serving well his profession and many charitable, civic and community organizations with special care.”

For his unparalleled leadership, dedicated support of the profession, and service to the community, AIA Virginia awards Sanford Bond, FAIA, the William C. Noland Medal.