Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

CELA Fountain Scholar Program

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)

CELA Fountain Scholar Program

The CELA Fountain Scholar Program is an endowed annual award to acknowledge Black, Indigenous, and persons (students) of color in landscape architecture with exceptional leadership and 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.


Named for Dr. Charles Fountain, a leader and educator at North Carolina A&T. The program recognizes outstanding students nominated from each landscape architecture program from CELA member institutions.

The CELA Fountain Scholar Program recognizes Black, Indigenous, and persons (students) of color studying landscape architecture. Each year, member programs are asked to identify students who develop compelling ideas, demonstrate exceptional design ability, and use their skills to influence, communicate, lead, and advance design solutions for contemporary issues in a manner aligned with the original goals of Dr. Charles Fountain during his time and NC A&T. Students are both honored for past achievements and recognized for their future potential to influence the landscape architecture profession. Students recognized by their programs are eligible to be named as a Fountain Scholar and compete for a $2,000.00 scholarship. An award will be given to one graduate and one undergraduate landscape architecture student.

  • The student must be a graduate or undergraduate landscape architecture student from a CELA member institution.
  • Undergraduate students must be in their final two years of study.

Scholar Nomination Process:

  • Each CELA member institution may nominate two students, regards of their status as graduate student or undergraduate student. (Eg, two graduate or undergraduate students may be selected by a member institution).
  • Persons nominated as scholars are to provide a headshot and short bio. This information will be used by The CELA to recognize their accomplishments on the website and social media. . Complete Step 1 of the linked application to have a student recognized as a Fountain Scholar. Deadline for student to be recognized as a Fountain Scholar is November 18, 2023.
Scholar Award Submission Packet:
  • All nominated Scholars are eligible to compete for the awards. Students must complete the full  Nomination Submission Packet to be considered.
  • One graduate student and one undergraduate student will be awarded a scholarship and recognized on the website and social media. Finalists will also be recognized.
  • All material must be submitted at one time using the linked submission form with all fields fill out, regardless if you have already submitted the student for the Scholar Nomination as these are two separate entities. All submissions must be received by December 15, 2023.

Jury-Selection: One outstanding student will be awarded the $2,000 scholarship. Only one award per year is given, regardless of collegiate level. Finalists will also be recognized.

Recognition: All students nominated will be recognized as Fountain Scholars. All scholars will join a growing community of 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 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.