Former student honored for AIA service with 2016 Kemper Award

See Ron Skaggs’ Outstanding Alumnus entry.

For significant contributions through service to the American Institute of Architects, including his "uncanny ability to recruit, mentor, and involve others in projects and causes," Ron Skaggs ’65, chairman emeritus of HKS Inc. was honored with the group's 2016 Edward C. Kemper Award.

Skaggs, a Texas A&M Distinguished Alumnus and member of the AIA College of Fellows, will receive the award, which honors the AIA’s first executive director, at the April 27 – 29, 2017 AIA convention in Orlando.

“Time and time again Ron has answered the AIA’s call and contributed to making solutions happen,” said R.K. Stewart, past AIA president. “Ron is a valuable role model of leadership and service, showing others what is possible when someone sees a need and steps forward to assure it is addressed.”

As the 76th president of AIA National in 2000, Skaggs led the institute to commit more fully to livable communities, financial responsibility, international cooperation, and architectural leadership in the communities in which architects serve. He established the AIA’s first finance committee and through his outreach efforts created a series of collaborative accords with the Architects Council of Europe, Japan Institute of Architects, Royal Institute of British Architects, The Federation of Colleges of Architecture of the Mexican Republic, and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. In his capacity as president he also spoke at international conferences across the world.

After his election as AIA College of Fellows chancellor in 2012, Skaggs urged all fellows to serve society and mentor emerging architects. During his tenure, 122 new and seven honorary fellows were added to the college. He also led the establishment of a College of Fellows Executive Committee advisory group.

Beyond the AIA, Skaggs formed strong bonds with allied organizations and held leadership positions with the National Architectural Accrediting Board and the American Institute of Architecture Students.

Skaggs began his career as a healthcare facility designer in the U.S. Army Surgeon General’s office after earning master’s and bachelor’s degrees in architecture at Texas A&M.

He joined HKS in 1972, founded the firm’s healthcare division and rose through the ranks to become firm chairman from 2002-2007.

The entirety of Skaggs' career has been spent as a healthcare architect. He has created humanistic healing environments that rely heavily on technological advances in the field, primarily in children’s hospitals, across the globe. Locally, he maintains an active role in the leadership of the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, serving as vice president and secretary of the board and is a present with patients, ensuring that their needs are met.

A strong supporter of architectural education at Texas A&M, Skaggs, an Outanding Alumnus of the College of Architecture, is a long-standing member of the Dean's Development Advisory Council. He and his wife Sondra have donated more than $1 million to endow a professorship, academic chair and numerous scholarships.

Skaggs also supports the university’s architecture-for-health studio, in which students have undertaken more than 800 design projects all over the world, and a corresponding lecture series, which features leading health facility designers, administrators, and construction executives from throughout the United States.

posted December 14, 2016