Source: andresr / Getty
Nearly 70 years ago, John S. Chase became the first Black person in Texas to become a licensed architect. Inspired by his late father’s legacy, his son—entrepreneur and educator Tony Chase—has set out to empower the next generation of innovators in the architecture space. According to the Houston Chronicle, Chase, and his wife, Dr. Dina Alsowayel, have gifted the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture with a $1 million endowment.
The donation will go towards creating the John S. Chase Family Endowed Graduate Fellowship, a program designed to recruit HBCU graduates in an effort to diversify the architecture industry. A portion of the endowment will be allocated for the John S. Chase Family Endowed Professorship in Architecture, which aims to cultivate a community of educators that can contribute to the evolution of the school’s program.
John S. Chase had deep ties to the Austin-based school. He made history as the first Black person to earn a degree as part of the institution’s graduate program. He also volunteered at the school and later served on UT’s Development Board.
His son, who founded ChaseSource LP, says the donation is an homage to his parents and hopes it will eliminate financial barriers for scholars looking to pursue a career in architecture.
“My mom passed away almost exactly a year ago, so this, really, is meant to honor both of their lives and legacies. My hope is that it provides an opportunity for lots of deserving kids,” he told the news outlet. “They were a unit. They really were. It would be impossible for me to honor him without honoring her.”
Michelle Addington, the dean of UT’s School of Architecture, added John Chase was a “connector and a community-builder” who “used his pioneering position to create opportunities for others.”
There is a need for more representation in the architecture industry. Research shows of the country’s 100,000 licensed architects, less than 2,500 are Black.
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Workers manning registration desks at the University of Alabama watch as student Vivian Malone enters Foster Auditorium on campus to register for classes in 1963. Miss Malone and fellow student Jimmy Hood were the first African American students to attend the University. | Source: Bettmann / Getty UPDATED: 9:05 a.m. Feb. 1, 2022 Originally published: Feb. 1, 2021 After what seemed like a full calendar year of nonstop Black history — what with the historic election of the first Black vice president, thanks in no small part to Black voters — Black History Month is making a triumphant return this year both in spite of and because of current turn of events. As the country anxiously awaits President Joe Biden making good on his promise to nominate a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, the nation’s education system remains under fire for curricula that include teaching Black history, making it unclear how — or if — those who write history books for future school-aged students will accurately document current events, including the diversification of the land’s highest court. MORE: Why Is Black History Month Celebrated In February? The way history chooses — and has chosen — to remember these types of moments that affect Black people is very much part of the reason why there remains an urgent need for Black History Month to not only be observed but also to be celebrated and honored, especially in 2022. Let’s be clear: From the moment enslaved Africans were kidnapped and brought to the land that went on to be called the United States, there has been Black history in America. Black folks have overcome obstacle after obstacle to continue making that same history in the face of adversity. Thurgood Marshall pictured in his robe prior to being sworn in as the first Black member of the U. S. Supreme Court, October 2, 1967. Marshall, the great-grandson of a slave, swore to “do equal right to the poor and the rich” as he took the oath at the opening session of the court. | Source: Bettmann / Getty So with Black History Month upon us, there may be no better time to reflect on the timeless and seemingly endless contributions that Black people have bestowed upon these United States. From fighting for desegregation to fighting in the American military to fighting for an education, and much, much more, the struggle was very real. And while Black folks have continued the fight on a number of different levels, the struggle has persisted. Civil rights have played a major role for the Black man in America, something that is more than apparent in the below vintage photos of Black people making history in America despite a greater power at work against it. It shows the good, the bad and, because it was in the U.S. during a time of heightened, overt racism, the ugly. Scroll down to see more classic images from centuries ago up until just a few short decades ago.
Son Of Texas’ First Black Architect Honors Father’s Legacy With $1M Donation To UT  was originally published on

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