Professional News

College of Design to Honor Award Recipients


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2011) − The University of Kentucky College of Design has announced the recipients of their 2010-2011 Friend of the College and Alum of the Year Awards, to be given out at a Scholarship and Awards Dinner on Oct. 21, 2011.

Eileen Jones, a 1976 graduate of UK will be given the Alum of the Year Award, presented annually to alumni who have demonstrated a willingness to give back and support the College of Design. Jones, a graduate of the UK School of Interior Design, is principal and national discipline leader at Perkins+Will Branded Environments, one of the largest architecture firms in the nation. In this role, Jones has led strategic research, community cultural interpretation, brand master planning and design development for clients.

Jones currently serves on the School of Interior Design Advisory Board and is playing a key role in the planning process for the school’s upcoming spring symposium. In the past, Jones has taught at the College of Design, hosted students in Chicago, and even participated in retreats with faculty to discuss the future of interior design.

"Simply put, Eileen has been a tremendous partner for the College of Design. Not only has she been extremely success in her profession, she has been more than willing to share her expertise with us here on campus," said Dean Michael Speaks. "The School of Interior Design is better due to her continued support and involvement."

Butch Branson will be given the Friend of the College Award, presented annually to someone who has partnered with the college to bring recognition and success. Branson is the owner of Ohio Valley Marine Service in Henderson, Ky.

Over the past four years, Branson has forged a strong relationship with the college, directly supporting the River Cities Project in Henderson and the students who participated in the projects. A gracious host, Branson is a favorite among the College of Design students who frequent Henderson for study trips and reviews. Branson’s support and generosity helped spearhead the effort for the college’s recent acceptance in to the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) where student work will be displayed.

In addition, Branson is involved in the community of Henderson, serving as the chair of the Board for River City Renaissance, a nonprofit organization that is working to bring development opportunities to the city. Through the group's efforts, the main focus of the Henderson Project, a deactivated power plant on the river known as HMPL1, will be redeveloped in the near future.

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