Every February Montana State University’s School of Architecture and AIAS chapter host the Celebration of Architecture. This past year was the 12th annual event gathered the school’s Advisory Council (AC), faculty and students for several days of future planning, networking and fundraising.
The event is an opportunity for the school’s legacy to have a direct impact on students by offering design competitions, speed interviews, job prospects, portfolio reviews and networking opportunities. This year paid testament to how much dedication this group of individuals has to the student leaders of the school.
The Celebration of Architecture is the culminating event, the Beaux Arts Ball if you will, of the gathering. This year during their quarterly report, AIAS challenged the Advisory Council to help raise funds to send four students to Grassroots. Grassroots, being the singularly most important and inspiring conference offered to the leaders of AIAS, is essential to offering the new leadership a strong foothold in problem solving, fresh ambition, and strategic planning for the coming year. Hearing the call made at the presentation, the Advisory Council offered our chapter a matching funding opportunity of $500 to send people to the event.
The Celebration of Architecture’s live and silent auction raised a little over $22,000, more than twice the typical amount raised, which goes towards student scholarships and activates hosted by the AIAS chapter. Firms gathered from across the western region of the United States to sponsor dinner tables and bid on auction items made by students, faculty, and the Bozeman, Montana community.
For the executive board of the chapter, the event takes about three months of planning and footwork to fundraise and gather items from the community and within the school. Those involved in planning the event gain a new skill set of time management, organization, bookkeeping, planning, professionalism in event execution and networking. The group of people we lovingly refer to as the AC continually pour into our student community throughout the year. They become recognized friendly faces and contribute to what makes the community of Bozeman, our school, feel like such a tight knit family.