Francis Mah Travel Grant

AIA Memphis offers an annual travel grant for young architects, associates, and architecture students, for national or international travel furthering the pursuit of personal architectural learning and development.

“Mah viewed past historical styles as contemporary for that time. He felt strongly that architects should be creating solutions for our time, not making copies of the past. He never looked back. He was always looking ahead, looking forward.” – Marty Gorman, AIA

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About Francis Mah

Francis Mah (1929-1998) was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Hawaii and received his degree in architecture from Yale University in 1952. He served in the Army during the Korean War and moved to Memphis after his discharge. Mah worked for A. L. Adylotte and Robert Thomas (Buddy) Martin before joining the firm of Walk Jones, Jr. in 1958. He later became partner and principal in charge of design and the firm became Jones, Mah, Gaskill and Rhodes (JMGR). Francis is remembered fondly for his eccentric character, progressive approach to design, and the poetic gestures articulated so exquisitely in his work. He was a strong advocate for the built environment and served as President of the Memphis chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Mah’s work has shaped the landscape of our city with such iconic projects as the First Tennessee Bank, heralding the rebirth of post World War II construction downtown; Memphis Publishing Company; Baptist Hospital School of Nursing; Southern College of Optometry; The University of Memphis’ Brister Library; the Harrah’s Corporation (formerly Holiday Inn Corporate Headquarters); and the Hyatt Regency Hotel (now Hilton Hotel). In addition to these and other icons scattered throughout the city, and unknown to most Memphians, are the beautiful residences that Mah tailored to their unique sites. He was certainly not timid. Mah viewed past historical styles as contemporary at the time. So, too, he felt strongly that we should be creating solutions of our time, not copies of the past. Each house he designed was a portrait of the owner and the architect.

Through this annual grant, the committee hopes to inspire emerging professionals to follow Francis Mah’s legacy of design excellence, progressive thinking, individuality and love of travel.

Grant Information


In remembrance of the life and work of architect Francis Mah, AIA Memphis has established an annual traveling fellowship funded jointly by the Mah FamilyWeinstein Foundation, and brg3s (formerly JMGR) with additional support from The Department of Architecture at The University of Memphis and AIA Memphis. The purpose of the grant is to advance the educational experience of a young prospective architect and future design leader, and encourage further research and exploration in various areas of design study. The Grant may be used for travel anywhere in the world.


Qualified applicants include: persons employed in the architectural profession, working towards future registration as an architect, and who are Associate Members of AIA Memphis; students enrolled in the architecture program at the University of Memphis who will have completed their first graduate year or third or fourth undergraduate year by the summer of the award year; students enrolled in the architecture program at Mississippi State who will have completed their fourth or fifth year by the summer of the award year.


Application details will be available on this site at a later date. For questions or comments, contact AIA Memphis.

Past Recipients

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