November 10, 2023 Architecture Student Receives $20K Memorial Scholarship

Georgia Perry, a fourth-year student in UT鈥檚 School of Architecture, has received the Sean F. Mellon Scholarship, a $20,000 memorial award available to the top quartile of students in the United States. She accepted the honor at the scholarship鈥檚 12th annual celebration dinner in New York City earlier this week.

Georgia Perry,a white woman with medium length brunette hair. She is sitting on stairs in a sage green blouse.

鈥淔or my work to be recognized and appreciated has given me the confidence I need as I near graduation,鈥 said Perry. 鈥淚 cannot imagine the ways that this is going to help me, financially as well as with growing connections in the industry.鈥

This year鈥檚 applicant pool included more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students.

鈥淕eorgia鈥檚 portfolio and her academic performance was a standout from the five finalists the jury considered and was thought to be creative, stimulating, light-hearted in some respects and very serious in others. The breadth of her design typology showed a vocabulary of design with great bandwidth,鈥 said Michael J. Macaluso, AIA, FARA, NCARB, chairman of the scholarship fund.

As a first-year student during the COVID-19 pandemic, Perry struggled to connect with the Art + Architecture building, a space that she鈥檇 heard former students describe as home. She met faculty and classmates behind computer screens or masks and kept her distance in the studio. In a spring sophomore studio, Perry discovered the principle of architectural phenomenology, and understood how her experiences impacted her sense of belonging.

鈥淓ssentially, after connecting with others and using the building as your own space, the building itself and the nuanced intervening spaces within become entirely different to each person that experiences it,鈥 said Perry. 鈥淎fter my first year, I did not feel any sort of connection with the Art + Architecture building. I had no sense of the building鈥檚 use, of my own belonging, and of memories that tied me to others and the physical space. Today, it has turned into my six studio spaces, and the outdoor modeling, the chair I built in my second year. A+A is the night when we all stayed up watching the Batman movie on the last day before review, the birthday I celebrated abroad with a friend, and the professors who have changed the way I see architecture.鈥

Perry serves as an ambassador for the college, providing tours of the building to prospective Vols. She is the secretary and service chair for Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society, a member of Alpha Omicron Pi Fraternity, and currently serves on the dean鈥檚 student advisory board.