Criteria & Recipients


Caitlin Tangeman (2016)


Ben Kunz (2016)


Lenora Allen (2016)

Merit scholarship

Adam Heier (2016)

Merit scholarship

Melissa Hywood (2015)

Merit scholarship

Michelle McCullough (2015)

Kevin Bukowski (2014)

Kevin Bukowski

Kendra Heimes (2014)

Kendra Heimes

Sara Hitchcock (2014)

Sara Hitchcock

Merit scholarship



Alec Saline (2013)

Alec Saline

Rachel Plessing (2013)

Rachel Plessing

Merit scholarship

Shundi Zhan (2013)

Shundi Zhan

Merit scholarship



Joseph Laughlin (2012)

Michael Harpster (2012)

Merit scholarship

Sean Cobb (2011)

Tara Meador (2011)

Merit scholarship

Chantal Bonner (2010)

I remember seeing Upperclassmen every year receive this award while the family and friends of Gary Spring presented it with great passion and enthusiasm. This sparked my interest to apply for this scholarship, and little did I know it was much more than a memorial scholarship.

During the interview, I learned there is so much more to architecture than just buildings. It is about passion and personality. Gary Spring’s passion shined through in his work and with his relationships with everyone around him and because of this the HDR-Gary Spring’s Memorial Scholarship was made possible and continues to generously help students for many consecutive years. His story is inspiring and insures that hard work and passion can change lives. Once again, I cannot thank you enough for the opportunities this scholarship has provided. I am truly honored to be a recipient of such a prestigious award.

Currently, I am working for an architecture firm in Paris and finishing my last year of graduate school. I enjoy working internationally and look forward to future opportunities.

Jared Carda (2009)

I wanted to personally thank you for the scholarship and what you were able to do for me. It really helped with my decision making last year and made me realize what I wanted. Being from rural South Dakota, sometimes funds cause you to think more about reality than following your dreams.

I was seriously considering not attending the graduate program when the lack of assistant positions was released. Being an out-of-state student made that weigh on my decision even more. I knew, however, that I wanted to finish with my Masters of Architecture and eventually become a licensed professional.

It is through your generosity that I am making my dreams a reality. Thank you again for the collaboration with Vickie and the time you put into offering this honor. I am truly blessed and will always hold much gratitude. I know this is not something that is done overnight, and takes much time and organization to set up. For that, I will always hold HDR and the people it has close to my heart. It was a pleasure meeting most of you and I hope I can stay in contact.

Currently, our studio is working on a project in Albion, NE. Like most smaller towns in rural Nebraska, they have a continuing trend of kids leaving and not returning. We are trying to revive the downtown area and add some amenities to make it thrive once again. We have just finished Phase 1, and are doing research to start Phase 2 of the project. The entire semester consists of three phases in which we have either picked an existing building to restore, or an abandoned lot to rebuild. It has been a very open studio and has allowed us many opportunities to do different things.

Ashley Byars DeRoin (2008)

The awarding of theHDR-Gary A. Spring Memorial Scholarship has benefited my education in the field of Architecture in a great many ways. Throughout the last year and a half, I have been pursuing my Master of Architecture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The substantial sum awarded to me by HDR through the scholarship has allowed me to pursue many additional opportunities during this very busy time-period that I would normally not have been able to undertake.

In the Fall of 2008, I was able to travel with a select group of my peers to the ACADIA Conference in Minneapolis, MN. At that time, I was enrolled in a digital design studio. The opportunity to travel to a conference that featured some of the brightest researchers and educators in the field of digital technology in Architecture was an inspiration and valuable point of growth in my education. In addition to attending the conference, the scholarship also enabled me to buy the computer programming needed to advance throughout the studio.

In Spring of 2009, I was presented with another chance to travel with my peers for a studio design project. This time, I traveled to New York to experience and observe the dynamic culture of the great city. The trip was mandatory to participate in this particular studio, and because of the support from the HDR-Gary A. Spring Memorial Scholarship, I was able to enroll in my first choice studio.

The New York studio was pivotal in shaping my design education and interests. My experiences in school that year greatly pushed my need and desire for travel, and in the summer of 2009, I was able to explore many more great cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Again, the money provided made the decision to partake in so much travel much easier. As I continue on with my thesis this year, I have invested greatly in books and research towards my project, creating a diverse library of influential and inspiring work, all of which comes back to the greater financial freedom the HDR-Gary A. Spring Memorial Scholarship has offered me. The HDR-Gary A. Spring Memorial Scholarship has been a wonderful opportunity in my educational goals and is a tremendous gift to the University of Nebraska’s College of Architecture program.

Evan Gunn (2007)

Through countless stories from Gary’s family and colleagues, I was shown an example of how he practiced architecture that wasn’t just about great buildings but about building great relationships. Gary let his creativity permeate every aspect of his life. Whether he was entertaining a client at his home or designing architecture, he pursued each with the same amount of passion. It is through his example that I’ve been encouraged to tackle everything I do with the same passion and creativity. Professionally, this scholarship gave me the opportunity to focus on my academic career and ultimately aided me in graduating with High Distinction with my Masters of Architecture.

I am currently working as an architectural designer on a variety of project types at The Clark Enersen Partners. My wife and I enjoy living in Lincoln, NE, and recently celebrated our sixth anniversary. We are looking forward to starting a family soon, but in the meantime, we enjoy being active in our church and community.

Ryan Cameron (2006)

We are very fortunate to have a set of individuals who are dedicated to pursuing the memory of a decorated individual such as Gary Spring. This scholarship is a sign of strength, dedication and the achievement of an individual in the field of Architecture. It is no wonder why it is only awarded to one person who exudes these qualifications. When I was selected as the recipient, I was overjoyed, since it was the sign that I had been recognized for a high level of achievement in this field.

It has meant a great deal to me from a personal standpoint as I had been able to pursue deeper development into my architectural studies. Expanding on my current vocabulary in architecture has been a lifelong goal and this scholarship helped me broaden those goals. This is the only scholarship I have ever received, so it means a great deal to me and will stay with me for life.

Currently I am working at a firm in Lincoln, NE, known as Visions in Architecture. I have taken steps to ensure that I am on the cutting edge of technology and this firm has embraced that. I have been at this firm for a little over a year and thoroughly enjoy working with the people that reside there.

Alexander Jack (2005)

I was the second recipient of the HDR-Gary A. Spring Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship's prestige, selection process, and lasting effects have truly impacted my life. The duathlon of prize and meritorious-tempo inspired competition spanning an otherwise wide chasm between undergraduates and graduates. This award was unprecedented at UNL, notably, in its particular attention to each student's portfolio of work and personal character-- two things inspired by Gary Spring. In essence, the scholarship is a mold to fit rather than a crown to be worn.

Upon receipt, the award set into motion a series of fantastic opportunities that still continue to shape my life. Directly, the scholarship made an abroad travel experience possible; indirectly, it instilled confidence and supplanted within me a backbone for a work-hard/play-hard ethic. Now with a family of my own, I am reminded of the importance of balancing the profession with friends and family, a quality possessed by Gary.

After graduation, I was contacted by many firms around the country who payed special attention to the scholarship. In particular, the ability to demonstrate I have traveled abroad was an asset to my current occupation at William McDonough + Partners in Charlottesville,VA. Working with many international clients, my travel time logged has propped me up to engage in larger global conversations. The scholarship was a highlight and the most discussed topic of my resume. Through a string of synapses in history, the scholarship was indeed a positive detour in my life. It will continue to enter my memory when least expected and provoke a confident smile.

Jeff Davis (2004)

I still remember spotting the flyer on the wall, mid-stairwell, requesting portfolio submissions for the HDR-Gary A. Spring Memorial Scholarship. Clearer still, I recall my sincere surprise when I received word that I was selected to be its first recipient. The award came at a time of great discouragement in my life. Circumstances outside of architecture school had brought me to a point of great personal uncertainty and my studies were following suit. Bogged down by the persistent demand for ideas that follows many architecture students late into the night, my enjoyment of design had all but gone.

Among other things during that time, the HDR-Gary A. Spring Memorial Scholarship brought me great encouragement. Conversation about who Gary was revealed to me that his enjoyment of architecture was rooted in the pursuit of his personal curiosity. The mention of Gary’s creations, both big and small, brought back to the forefront of my mind a genuine interest in creating, and reminded me of the deep joy that rewards those who pursue their curiosities.

The monetary benefits of the scholarship spurred my completion of an undergraduate degree in architecture. The following summer I interned at HDR before returning to graduate school in the fall. As a graduate student I had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant for various design studios, supporting fellow students in their own unique pursuits. Since completion of my Master of Architecture in May 2007, I have worked for Min|Day in Omaha, NE, where I currently pursue my architectural interests.