The Francis Gassner Award

The Francis Gassner Award was established in 1977 to commemorate an extraordinary architect, Francis P. Gassner, FAIA, who practiced in Memphis from 1950′s until his death in 1977. To continue his legacy of design excellence, of service to the profession, and of leadership to our community, AIA Memphis honors each year an architect or member of a related profession for outstanding contributions to the quality of the built environment in Memphis.

“Architecture is a reflection of the attitude of the community – a physical manifestation of what we think is the good life. It can be a vehicle to enhance man’s dignity. If it doesn’t do that, it is a failure.” - Francis P. Gassner, FAIA

 ⃪ Back to Awards

2015 Francis Gassner Award Recipient

AIA Memphis announces Heather B. Koury, Hon. AIA as this year’s Francis Gassner Award recipient.
Read more in the Memphis Business Journal

Heather was recognized for her outstanding contribution to the architectural fabric of the Memphis community at the AIA Memphis Celebration of Architecture Awards Gala on March 28th, 2015, at the Tower Center at Clark Tower with the Francis Gassner Award.

In Heather’s twelve years of service to AIA Memphis and its members as Executive Director, she has elevated AIA Memphis’ standing to become a national example of collaboration, innovation and public engagement in support of the profession and our community.

With a passion for community engagement, and a deeply held belief in the value of collaboration, Heather has developed longstanding strategic partnerships to enhance the publics understanding and appreciation for architecture and the role architects play in transforming the way we experience the world around us. For over a decade, she has brought together allied arts organizations including museums, universities, K-12 schools, cultural organizations, and preservation organizations to explore and discuss the significance of the built environment.

As an industry leader, she has positioned AIA Memphis as an outwardly facing organization that recognizes the importance of actively engaging with the diverse decision makers and visionaries who are shaping our city. Whether it is through chapter programming, community partnerships, legislative engagement, or service, Heather continues to represent the interests of Memphis architects at the local, state, and national level and inspires others to get involved.

In recent years, Heather’s outstanding contributions have been recognized at the highest levels of our profession. In 2013, Heather was selected by Institute CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA to serve on the Member Service Resource Task Force, a national appointment focused on elevating and enhancing the member experience through AIA Repositioning. Heather was selected by the Council of AIA Component Executives (CACE) as the recipient of the 2013 Component Leadership Award for national AIA Executive of the Year, an award bestowed annually upon one executive from the over 250 AIA components nationwide. In 2014, the Institute selected Heather as an Honorary Member of the AIA, one of the highest awards the Institute can bestow on an individual outside the profession of architecture. Heather was recently elected to the 2015 CACE National Executive Committee, which represents and supports components in service to the members of The American Institute of Architects around the globe.

Whether it is looking towards our future, or to our past, Heather continues to elevate and promote Memphis’ architecture and design community, our city’s rich history, and it’s bright future as an international model for innovation.


Candidates may be proposed by any member of AIA Memphis in good standing. Nominations should be in the form of a letter of recommendation (no more than two pages) to the Gassner Award Committee. No other material is required or will be considered, unless specifically requested by the Committee. The Award may or may not be given on an annual basis, at the discretion of the Committee. Please provide a statement naming your nominee, and his/her contributions to the quality of the built environment in Memphis. Achievement in the following categories should be considered but not limited to: Architectural Practice, Design, Education, Government, Industry, Historical Preservation, Literature, Public Service, Research, Science of Construction, Service to the Profession, Urban Design.

Entry Form

Download the 2015 Francis Gassner Award nomination package


Wednesday, January 21 . 2015
Thank you for your submissions. 2015 entries are now closed.

Return your electronically completed or scanned form to or mail to:

AIA Memphis: Francis Gassner Award
511 South Main St.
Memphis, TN 38103

Presentation of Award

The Gassner Award recipient will be honored at the annual spring Celebration of Architecture Gala.

Previous Gassner Award Recipients

2015 - Heather B. Koury, Hon. AIA
2014 – Todd Walker, FAIA
2013 – Keith Kays, AIA
2012 - Shirley C. Raines
2011 - Michael Hagge & Sherry Bryan
2010 - Joseph P. Hagan, AIA
2009 - Martin Gorman Jr, AIA
2008 - Jim Lutz, AIA
2007 - Joseph “Pitt” Hyde, III
2006 – Henry Frank Ricks, Jr., AIA
2003 – Robert Browne
2002 – Eugene E. Burr, AIA
2001 – Jack A. Belz
2000 – Robert J. Fleming, AIA
1999 – Kirk Bobo, FAIA
1998 – J. Granville Taylor, AIA
1997 – Mertie Buckman
1996 – Lee Askew, III, FAIA
1994 – Antonio Bologna, FAIA
1993 – Jack R. Tucker, Jr., FAIA
1992 – William Roberts Eissler
1991 – Gregory O. Hnedak, FAIA
1990 – William H. Gaskill, AIA
1988 – Dr. J. Richard Gruber
1987 – Morrie Moss
1986 – Henry M. Turley, Jr.
1985 – Francis Mah, AIA
1984 – Eleanor Hughes
1982 – Roy P. Harrover, FAIA
1981 – Thomas Nathan, FAIA
1980 – Edward (Ted) Rust
1979 – Clayton Dekle, FAIA
1978 – Zeno Yeates, FAIA
1977 – William P. Cox, FAIA