Annual business meeting

Typically held in September provides the membership and opportunity to know what the state of the chapter is and allows the members to vote to fill vacant board positions. The Annual Business Meeting most often also includes the same networking and continuing education opportunities that Monthly Membership Meetings provide.

Continuing Education Marathon Day

On an annual basis since 2001, the chapter hosts an all-day (eight 1-hour long sessions) opportunity to gain continuing education credits per the AIA CES provider requirements. The main goal of the event is to provide accredited continuing education hours for the members of the AIA. The chapter invites continuing education providers that are prepared to present their AIA CES programs one time during that day to all the attendees. The chapter also may invite local presenters that have unique training or have expertise on an architecturally related health, safety, or welfare topic. In these cases, the chapter will serve as the continuing education facilitator for that session.

Design Award Celebrations

Typically held each November. AIA Southwest Michigan seeks to recognize and publicize excellence in architecture, to bring to the public’s attention outstanding work completed by architects in our chapter, and encourage excellence in design for projects within our communities. The Design Awards Celebration is a chance to gather and honor those recognized.

A Call for Entry is solicited from all chapter members giving the eligibility requirements and outlining the submission format, etc. All entries shall be executed architectural projects substantially designed by AIA Members within firms who satisfy section 2010(1) of the state licensing act, and are in good standing of AIA Southwest Michigan. The projects must have been completed and occupied within a timeframe as outlined each year and may be located anywhere in the world. Projects that have been submitted in prior years are eligible for resubmission; however, prior award winners in this program are not. All firms substantially contributing to the design of the project must be given credit as part of the submission. The entrant should bear in mind that a project will not be judged in competition with other entries, but on the basis of the solution of the problems presented and its worthiness for an award for excellence in design.

The awards categories historically have included – Existing, New, and Un-built projects. Honor and Merit awards may be given in each category. The awards consist of an Honor Award, the highest level of design achievement and a Merit Award acknowledging the achievement of design meriting mention.

View the award categories and winners here.


Since 1994, the local chapters of NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) and CFMA (Construction Financial Management Association) along with the AIA Southwest Michigan Chapter have hosted a joint scholarship fund raising golf outing. The revenues raised for all three organizations are utilized to assist in funding each organization scholarship program. The AIA Southwest Michigan Chapter historically has awarded a deserving architectural student at Andrews University a scholarship. Andrews University is located within the chapters’ geographic membership boundaries.

Monthly Membership Meetings

Typically held in the third week of the months of January, February, March, April, May, June, and October and provides the membership and invited guests and opportunity to network and provides opportunities for the membership to earn AIA CES continuing education credits. The chapter board selects meeting topics relevant to architectural practice and selects buildings to tour during various phases of construction sometimes revisiting projects multiple times.