RGW PRIZE: Excellence in The Study of Buildings, Landscapes, and Places

Richard Guy Wilson joined the UVA School of Architecture in 1976. We invite you to take part in an extraordinary opportunity to honor Wilson’s legacy at the school.


For 40 years, he has had a major impact on countless students through his knowledge, teaching, mentorship— and his wit. Out of admiration for Professor Wilson’s teaching, Mallory Walker, an alumnus from the College of Arts & Sciences, has endowed the Richard Guy Wilson Prize for Excellence in The Study of Buildings, Landscapes and Places. As Walker described,

Professor Wilson is an extraordinary teacher at ease in demonstrating how political, economic, technological and artistic elements influence what we see and vice versa. He asks students to think about objects and places and the forces that were at work when a building or space was conceived. Were there political considerations? Was there a new artistic style created at the time? Did the building or place utilize a new technology? He asks us to critically think about the larger context of time and place when we study the constructed world.

This $5000 cash prize recognizes the UVA student who produces the best scholarly or creative work engaging a historic building, place, or landscape.  Accepted submissions include, but are not limited to, writing, design, poetry, painting, legal/business briefs, scholarly/research essays, film, and photography. The prize winner will be selected by a small committee of University faculty selected by the Chair of the Department of Architectural History.

Wilson asked that the award provide student support—fitting given his tireless focus on excellence in teaching and in helping students not only in architectural history, but also throughout the A-School and University. The Richard Guy Wilson Prize is a wonderful tribute to RGW, and the Architectural History department, the longest standing of its kind in American higher education. It also underscores how many departments and schools across UVA Grounds are enriching their disciplines with spatial, material, and geographic approaches. We welcome submissions from students in all eleven schools of the University.