American Institute of Architects 2021 Fellow, William M. Brown, III, FAIA, NOMA, Reflects on a Career Enriched by Mentoring

February 27, 2021

 

William M. Brown, III, FAIA, NOMA, Reflects on a Career Enriched by Mentoring

by William M. Brown, III, FAIA, NOMA

Mentorship to others, in particular our younger generation, who may lack the resources or who have never been exposed to consider Architecture as their chosen profession, continues to inspire me and leaves an indelible mark in my life because others from the “village” have invested in me encouraged, in me and I want to pay it forward to the next generation. When we mentor and speak, our words and deeds are like seeds of a sower. Some seeds will fall on the path and be eaten by the birds immediately, some seeds will fall on rocky terrain and be exposed and eaten by the birds too, some seeds will fall on the thorny bushes never taking root and will wither and die but other seeds will fall on the good soil, take root and prosper, something we can’t mathematically measure or quantify or necessarily see but having the faith that a new generation of Architects will emerge! We all must do our part in promoting the profession! It has been a lifetime of giving back to the community. The essence of my life is a “Quiet Strength” in sharing the good news of the Architecture profession and I will always “Let the Works I Have Done Speak For Me.”

NAACP ACT-SO (Afro -Academic Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics) I now serve as Chair for the Oranges and Maplewood Branch and I also mentor students in Architecture which is in the S.T.E.A.M. category. I mentored Jaquan Success in 2018 in his design of the Edward T. Bowser Community Center. Jaquan won a bronze medal in 2018 in San Antonio, TX, and is currently a 3rd-year architectural student at Howard University, Washington, DC. Visit State ACT-SO website at www.actsonewjersey.org

I have included some pictures from my experience with Jaquan in 2018 at the National Competition in San Antonio, Texas where he won a bronze medal for Architecture for his design of the Edward T. Bowser Community Center in East Orange, NJ. 

Jaquan recalls, “A moment I’d like to share goes back to when I was in the midst of competition for states in the ACTSO S.T.E.A.M. division. Bill was guiding me through the drafting, to set up final drawings and he had me do some outline work. The work started off fine but in my head, began to feel redundant. He was ultimately taking me through the process of making different drawings to help display the design better and efficiently. At that moment, Bill said, ‘The thing with architecture is that the process is just as, if not more important than the results or final product. It’s about learning to love the process.’ I heard him but I wasn’t listening. It finally clicked for me once I had my first real architectural project on my own when I was off to school. I was working on a canonical house and I had to force myself to work through the process, though I just wanted the results. I finished but not to the best of my ability due to my mindset of wanting the results without going through the process. I’ve learned to listen to what Bill taught me that day and started to love the process and forget about the results. This is a lesson that sticks to any aspect of life and I’m thankful that Bill is in my life to teach me that. Congratulations William M. Brown, III, FAIA, NOMA, on this amazing achievement that you so rightfully deserve. “

Jaquan’s mother, Joanne Success, has remarked, “It’s an honor to know Bill Brown and what he has done for my son Jaquan.  He’s now a household name in our family.  He’s more than a mentor.  Bill has given my son a purpose.  I recall when Jaquan was having difficulties with his peers while in high school. The only person he felt safe having conversations with was Bill.  Bill would leave work and pick him up from school and take him to dinner to just talk.  Bill is more than a mentor, he’s a friend and a confidante.  I  value his opinions and know that Bill is steering Jaquan in the right direction. This recognition is very deserving and we are honored to have benefited from Bill’s generous gift back to the profession on a personal level.”
 

The American Institute of Architects has elevated Bill for his contributions in Object Three: Led the Institute, or a related organization.”To coordinate the building industry, and the profession of architecture.”

Fellowship in this object is granted to architects who have actively, efficiently, and cooperatively led the Institute or a related professional organization over a sustained period of time and have gained widespread recognition for the results of their work.

Bill is widely known and respected for his robust yet gentle leadership. He is celebrated for his generosity. Bill’s mark on the profession will be felt for many generations to come as he has planted seeds far and wide and the roots are taking hold, strong and sure. Bill, AIA New Jersey congratulates you wholeheartedly on your elevation to Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects. 


Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment. Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through a dynamic network of more than 250 chapters and more than 95,000 member architects and design professionals, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. The organization’s local chapter, AIA New Jersey, has served as the voice of the architectural profession in the Garden State since 1900. Based in Trenton, AIA New Jersey has over 2,000 members across six sections. For more information, please visit http://www.aia-nj.org

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Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.

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