Alumnus and Alumni Society Recognized for Outstanding Achievements

September 21, 2020

The University of Minnesota’s Alumni Association Awards are presented each fall to recognize outstanding alumni and alumni networks across the University of Minnesota.

This year, the College of Design community received not one, but two awards. Bruce Chamberlain (BLA ’89) is the recipient of the 2020 Alumni Service Award for his above-and-beyond contributions, while the college’s Design Student and Alumni Board has been named UMAA’s 2020 Society of the Year. Both awards underscore the strong bond between the college and its alumni network, as well as the continued dedication shown by design alumni to helping future designers along their professional journey.

As a former president of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Bruce Chamberlain is no stranger to giving back to his community. He was awarded the prestigious Alumni Service Award in recognition of his long-standing support and volunteer work for the Department of Landscape Architecture. One of his passions as a volunteer is helping students develop professionally, by serving on capstone committees, participating in design reviews, providing research assistantships, and giving guest lectures. He also played a key role in establishing the Roger Martin Travel Prize, which supports landscape architects early in their careers. Beyond his work with students, Chamberlain has done much to help support the department at large by serving on the Landscape Architecture Alumni Advisory Committee from 2011–2013 and acting as a member of the department’s 50th Anniversary Planning Committee.

Chamberlain’s service has made an undeniable positive impact on the Department of Landscape Architecture and its students. His contributions are a prime example of the support design students receive from their alumni network. 

The College of Design’s Design Student and Alumni Board (DSAB) is a primary facilitator of the support design students receive from figures like Chamberlain. As a four-time winner of the Society of the Year Award and a recipient of a Pride CASE Silver Award for Best Student and Alumni Programming, DSAB consistently provides students and alumni the unique opportunity to connect and work together through various programs. Perhaps the most notable piece of DSAB programming is the Design Mentor Program, which is one of the largest mentorship programs in the University due to its successful system for matching design students with professionals in their field. DSAB also plans signature speaker events like Design in 7 and Dirty Laundry—both of which feature design professionals sharing their real-world experiences—and coordinates a robust menu of firm tours, skills workshops, portfolio reviews, and networking events annually. 

Both of these awards will be celebrated on Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 PM CST at the Alumni Awards Affair. You can watch the event live via YouTube.

On November 14th the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) launched the Minnesota Alumni Market, an online store selling products created by University of Minnesota alumni. Believed to be the first of its kind, the market will feature everything from home goods to apparel.

On June 22 the American Institute of Architects (AIA) will honor new inductees to the AIA College of Fellows, including four School of Architecture alumni.

For the second year in a row, an alumnus from the College of Design will receive the University of Minnesota Alumni Association’s U40 Award.