CELA Fountain Scholar Program
The CELA Fountain Scholar Program is an endowed annual award in recognition and support of Black, Indigenous, and persons (students) of color in landscape architecture with exceptional design skills and who use their skills and ideas to influence, communicate, lead and advance design solutions for contemporary issues in a manner aligned with the original goals of Dr. Charles Fountain.
The CELA Fountain Scholar Program provides a $2,000.00 scholarship for one graduate or undergraduate landscape architecture student (only one award per year is given, regardless of collegiate level). The program recognizes one outstanding student as nominated from landscape architecture programs from CELA member institutions (each university is eligible to identify a nomination for the CELA Fountain Scholar), and one jury-selected single graduate or undergraduate national award winner is provided with the honor (as part of the program).
Students are both honored for past achievements and recognized for their future potential to influence the landscape architecture profession. The CELA Fountain Scholar Program was established to help Black and Indigenous students of color to advance their landscape architecture education. Eligible candidates are in their final two years of undergraduate study or pursuing a graduate degree in landscape architecture. Winners of the award will join a growing community future CELA Fountain Scholars.
Dr. Charles Fountain was a Professor at North Carolina A&T State University, an 1890 Land-Grant Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Dr. Fountain was the founder of the first accredited landscape architecture program at an HBCU. Dr. Charles Fountain was an innovator, educator, and a visionary landscape architect. As one of the first five African-American scholars to earn a professional degree in landscape architecture, he cultivated broad impacts in the field by actively recruiting and mentoring a new generation of African-American designers. Realizing the need for minorities in design in the early 1960’s, Dr. Fountain left a tenured position in Plant Science at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of California, Berkeley, in an effort to make landscape architectural education available to African-American students. After graduation, he returned to North Carolina and founded the NC A&T Landscape Architecture Program, the first landscape architecture degree offered by an HBCU. He made it his mission to serve as an important advocate for diversity through national, state, and local committees, programs, workshops, and boards. While diversity in the profession of landscape architecture has yet to reflect the population it serves, it has been greatly shaped and cultivated by the life and contributions of Dr. Fountain.