Richard T. Connell, FAIA, principal and member of the Board of Directors of The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM), has been elevated to the College of Fellows in the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The fellowship is AIA’s highest membership honor, awarded to professionals for their notable contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture. Three percent of the AIA’s 88,000+ members have received this distinction.
Rich, who joined SLAM in 1979, leads the firm’s K-12 Independent School practice and has worked with more than 35 schools across the country on projects ranging from master planning to the design of various facility types. For over a decade, he has been an active contributor and volunteer to the architectural profession as the CT Intern Development Program State Coordinator for architectural interns; member of the Board of Directors of The Connecticut Architecture Foundation, (which grants scholarships to students pursuing careers in architecture); and currently as one of two New England representatives to the American Institute of Architects Strategic Council, a national advisory board. In 2013, the Associated General Contractors of Connecticut honored Rich as Designer of the Year, in recognition of his contributions to the design and construction industry.
James McManus, FAIA, chairman emeritus and founder of SLAM remarked in his sponsorship letter: “Rich has developed and led a robust Independent Education Studio for our firm. He established an organized planning and programming methodology that focuses on the individual client’s campus. His project solutions build on the special sense of place that are essential in the formation of a student’s future sense of integrity and responsibility to the community. His personal connection with his clients is best exemplified by the many repeat commissions for institutions where he works.”
Rich has led the master planning and building design for numerous independent and higher education clients including Avon Old Farms School, Chase Collegiate School, Colby-Sawyer College, Cushing Academy, Marist School, Eastern Connecticut State University, Ethel Walker School, Fay School, Friends Academy, Kent School, Loomis Chaffee School, The New School, St. Timothy’s School, and many more. Many of his projects have received recognition for design excellence with Marist School’s Ivy Street Center most recently receiving a 2016 Outstanding Design Award from American School and University magazine.
The Investiture Ceremony for all new Fellows will be held on Friday, April 28, 2017, during the AIA National Convention in Orlando, Florida.