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AIA Rhode Island Scholarship Fund and AIA Rhode Island / DF Pray Scholarship Fund
By Jean Cohoon / February 24, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...
The AIA Rhode Island Architectural Forum, the charitable arm of AIA Rhode Island (a chapter of the American Institute of Architects), was established to support educational programs within the architectural community. The Forum provides this support primarily through scholarships.

One of those scholarships is the Norton E. Salk Scholarship, a fund established in 2008 at the Rhode Island Foundation by the family of the late Norton E. Salk, whose career as an architect spanned 55 years. The fund annually benefits architecture students at accredited Rhode Island schools.

In 2014, AIA Rhode Island transferred scholarship money it had raised to the Foundation, creating two additional funds. Cyndi Gerlach, past president of AIA Rhode Island, explains, “Through our annual golf tournament, we’ve raised enough money to set up these funds at the Foundation. We had our money in a bank account, but it wasn’t earning any interest to speak of. We’re looking to get a better return, plus having the funds at the Foundation relieves us of having to oversee them.

“The other chapters are so envious of how much we’ve raised. It’s worked out really well for us,” Cyndi continues.

Dan Nichols, chairman of the golf classic, states, “With the escalating cost of a higher education, this event has been a valuable and necessary avenue to assist students with their education. While the AIAri Golf Classic is always an enjoyable day of golf, the real enjoyment is seeing the students with their families and their appreciation of how we have supported their education.”

“It’s all about the students,” Cyndi agrees, adding, “It’s a lot of fun to go through the portfolios they submit as part of their applications. With today’s technology, the graphics are amazing and the portfolios are impressive. The scholarships are awarded based on financial need, performance, and passion.”

In addition to the fund with the organization’s name, the DF Pray Scholarship Fund recognizes and honors D.F. Pray General Contractors, a Seekonk-based firm that has been the largest supporter of AIA Rhode Island’s golf tournament.
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