The Harry F. Cunningham Gold Medal

Cunningham Gold Medal

The Harry F. Cunningham Gold Medal is the highest honor AIA Nebraska can bestow upon an individual and is awarded in recognition of the most distinguished achievement in architecture or service to the profession of Architecture.

The Gold Medal commemorates the achievements of Harry Francis Cunningham who came to Nebraska as lead architect for Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue's office during completion of the tower phase of construction for the State Capitol following Goodhue's death in 1924. It was Goodhue's revolutionary building design which won the nationwide competition in 1920 for the creation of the state house in Lincoln. Cunningham subsequently established the first school of architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Below is a a list of past recipients.

Harry F. Cunningham Recipients

  • 2019 Dan Worth, FAIA, FAPT
  • 2018 Thomas L. Findley
  • 2016 Perry Poyner
  • 2015 Robert Ripley, FAIA
  • 2014 Tom Laging, FAIA
  • 2013 Bruce Carpenter, AIA
  • 2012 John (Jack) Schofield Savage, AIA
  • 2011 R. Wayne Drummond, FAIA
  • 2010 Albert Hamersky, AIA
  • 2009 Gary Bowen, FAIA
  • 2008 Neil Astle
  • 2007 John E. Sinclair, AIA
  • 2006 George Haecker, AIA
  • 2005 Robert L. Hanna
  • 2004 Charles Wilscam, AIA
  • 2002 Donald P. Polsky, FAIA
  • 2001 Dale L. Gibbs, FAIA
  • 1999 Deon Bahr, FAIA
  • 1997 W. Cecil Steward, FAIA
  • 1998 Allied Artists of the Nebraska State Capitol
  • 1995 Lawrence Enersen, FAIA, FASLA


Includes an individual, (not necessarily a current resident or an architect, living or deceased) who has not previously received this award, and who the AIA Nebraska Executive Committee believes exemplifies excellence in architecture in the State of Nebraska. Nominees who fail to receive the award after three submissions will not be eligible. One gold medal will be awarded in any given year. However, in some years one may not be awarded.


  • The candidate shall have evidenced a profound effect on the profession of architecture in Nebraska.
  • The candidate shall have influenced the direction of architecture in Nebraska.
  • The candidate's contributions to the profession of architecture have consistently been directed toward the future as well as respectful of the past.
  • The candidate shall have evidenced the ability to excel in a specific area of expertise.
  • The candidate shall be widely known by the quality of his or her skills or services by those who practice architecture and those who do not.


Nominations must be made by an AIA Nebraska member and completed by 5 p.m., Thursday, July 24, 2020. It is the responsibility of the nominator to inform the nominee of his/her consideration. AIA Nebraska will only contact the Gold Medal winner.

Nomination Form

Information submitted from this nomination will be the materials considered by the jury. In the event of clarification, the jury may ask the nominator for further information.

Nominator Agrees

  • To provide clarification on information per jury request.
  • To compile introductory material (including power point and photographs) for awards presenter.
  • To act as host or obtain a host for the nominee (if selected as winner) at the AIA Nebraska Excellence in Design Event.

If you have nominated an individual in the past and would like them to be reconsidered, please indicate this on the nomination form and the original submission will be used. Updates need to be forwarded to AIA NE by the appropriate date. Additional information may be requested for the jury.


The selection committee may include:

  • President, AIA Nebraska
  • Past Recipient of the Gold Medal
  • Regional Director. AIA Central States
  • Representative, UNL College of Architecture
  • President, Nebraska Arts Council


The award ceremony of the Cunning Gold Medal will be held during the 2020 AIA Nebraska Excellence in Design Awards Gala.

Image credits

Cunningham Gold Medal

AIA Nebraska