Cornerstone Awards Phil Swaim Receives Jerry Wyatt Community Service Award By Tiffany Kjos More than 300 people headed to the Desert Diamond Casino in March for a construction industry event that’s about helping up-and-comers as much as it is for recognizing some of Tucson’s top talents. Attendees included building contractors, architects, engineers and vendors, said Brent Davis, executive director of the event’s host, the Cornerstone Building Foundation. “I like to characterize Cornerstone as the non-homebuilding construction folks,” Davis said. Philip Swaim of Swaim Associates, a member of the American Institute of Architects, received the Jerry Wyatt Community Service Award. Swaim works with a range of organizations, including the city of Tucson, Pima County and the downtown redevelopment group, Rio Nuevo. “He’s been all over this community volunteering his time to make a better community,” Davis said. Swaim announced a new endowment to honor his father, the Robert J. Swaim Architecture Scholarship, funded with $50,000 from Swaim Associates. The endowment is one of several that are managed by CBF Charities, a separate nonprofit arm of the Cornerstone Building Foundation, which funds scholarships for people studying construction, architecture, design and engineering. An annual golf tournament also benefits the nonprofit, which since 1999 has funded more than $200,000 in scholarships at the Arizona Builders Alliance, University of Arizona and Pima Com212 BizTucson
munity College, among others. In 2017-2018 alone, CBF Charities is funding $74,000 in scholarships, and its number of endowments is growing. Cornerstone pledged to raise a total of $20,000 over 2016, 2017 and 2018 for the Cornerstone Building Foundation Robert & Dee Hershberger Traveling Scholarship, which allows an architecture student to travel to the architectural site of their choosing. People at the March 6 awards event were among the first to learn that Cornerstone met that goal, which was matched by Robert Hershberger, who founded the Cornerstone Building Foundation in 1994, when he was dean of the architecture college at the University of Arizona. “The fund already had $30,000 or $40,000 in it, so it’s getting up there,” Davis said. Today, Cornerstone includes members of the Arizona Builders Alliance, American Institute of Architecture, American Council of Engineering Companies, the Construction Specifications Institute and the National Association of Women in Construction. The foundation’s goals mesh with those of the UA College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, said the foundation’s Development Officer Kay Olsen Brown. “It’s a natural sort of thing in the building industry – architects and engineers work together as a rule, and working with contractors, it really needs to be a cooperative environment,” she said. “We’re teaching our students to work collaboratively.”
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