American Institute of Architects elevates three local architects to the College of Fellows

AIA Fellowship Recognizes Significant Contributions to Profession of Architecture and Society

Contact:  Lynn Robinson

For immediate release:
Atlanta – February 8, 2017 – The 2017 Jury of Fellows from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) elevated 178 AIA members to its prestigious College of Fellows, an honor awarded to members who have made significant contributions to the profession.

The 2017 Fellows will be honored at an investiture ceremony at the AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando, Florida.

The Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.  Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level.

2017 Fellows

Out of a total AIA membership of over 90,000, approximately three percent are distinguished with the honor of fellowship and honorary fellowship. The elevation to fellowship is conferred on architects with at least ten years of membership in the AIA in one or more of the following nomination categories or objects:

1. Promoted the aesthetic, scientific, and practical efficiency of the profession

2. Advanced the science and art of planning and building by advancing the standards of architectural education, training or practice

3. Coordinated the building industry and the profession of architecture through leadership in the AIA and other related professional organizations

4. Advanced the living standards of people through an improved environment

5. Made the profession of ever-increasing service to society

Included in the list below are the newly elevated members from Georgia, their component affiliation and summary of their accomplishments.

Mark Levine, FAIA

AIA Atlanta

Across nearly 30 years of AIA leadership, Mark Levine has facilitated meaningful, relevant local, state and regional programs and conferences. His vision for the 2015 National Convention inspired thousands through fellowship, education, and advocacy. His service fosters and promotes the creation of a common vision for the AIA’s membership community, ensures chapter profits, and advances the profession’s value in shaping better architecture and communities. Mark Levine’s approach to service and to Institute leadership is fueled by the mentoring and support he received early in his career from passionate and creative professionals. He extends their generous spirit to strategies that advance fellow professionals, emerging professionals and students in the Academy. In all these endeavors, he ultimately seeks to expand awareness of the profession in shaping the future for clients and communities.

Gerald D. Cowart, FAIA

AIA Savannah

Cowart believes that ‘the architect must be greater than architecture.’ For three decades, he has worked to advance social values and professional leadership, as well as technical, renewable and aesthetic excellence in the South. Gerry’s gift of creative thinking compliments his passion for sustainable design, public service and paying forward. His numerous design and honor awards and extensive service with the AIA have earned him admiration and high respect. Because of his credibility, Gerry has been able to teach his philosophical beliefs, ethics and architectural ideals to multiple generations of young architects, through his work with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and his mentorship of students through the Sara Hall Cowart Leadership Initiative. His vibrant spirit and informed influences have inspired numerous young and aspiring architects to be conscious, informed citizens and designers.

Leslie Gartner, FAIA

AIA Atlanta

Passion for science and solutions has been evident in Leslie Gartner’s career, beginning in 1989 with the design for the first High Containment BSL-4 lab for Canada and continuing today with work that spans the globe. In 2002 his team was selected to design the Rocky Mountain Laboratories Integrated Research Facility under a United States government procurement of “Urgent and Compelling Need”, highlighting the essential nature of these facilities. The principles of science and health protection have been central to Leslie’s design of BSL-4 facilities for the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense in every region of the U.S. demonstrating the national impact his work has had. His expertise has gained him international recognition as evidenced by his continued leadership in the field and the design of these unique facilities in countries such as Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Saudi Arabia and India.

About The American Institute of Architects
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through nearly 300 state and local chapters, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit