Morning: 6:00 a.m. (or thereabouts) one day in February, Erik Burkhart, FAIA, Principal at Lee, Burkhart, Liu, Inc., stumbled, attempting to turn off his iPhone alarm. In the clumsy process, he happened to glimpse an email from AIA National, and the entire wake-up process instantly turned pleasant.
Afternoon: Too excited to contain the news until the respectable and appropriate hours of contact, he awakened family and a few colleagues to share. And a few hours was enough notification for his office to throw an impromptu congratulatory party, which made for a joyous afternoon indeed.
Burkhart, an architect whose career in California spans over 35 years, was humbled and honored to attend the Investiture ceremony. “I was particularly struck by the talent and diversity of the AIA Fellows I met, the amazing contributions they are making to their communities and the honor they bring to our profession,” he said.
Evening: His reports of the actual ceremony are reflected by many. It “was dignified by tradition and yet celebratory, not unlike a graduation ceremony,” he reported. Incidentally, the ceremonial garb was misinterpreted as he wore it and waited at the elevator with public onlookers. “I was asked how many couples I would be marrying downstairs that weekend.” And even though he did not bless or unite any happy couples, and even though he reports the reception being a bit of a chaotic blur, he was privy to his own sort of ceremonial contentment. The next evening though, was “more relaxing and collegial, filled with stimulating and witty conversation,” he said. “I look forward to returning next year as an ‘old’ Fellow.”