Four Palm Springs Unified School District graduate students were celebrated for their academic achievements at a reception held Wednesday, June 3, 2015. The students, who are pursuing education in architecture and design or related fields, each received a $1,500 scholarship award from the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PSMODCOM).

Family, friends, school officials and the scholars were greeted at the historic Desert Star by PSMODCOM board members and hosts Debra and Richard Hovel, owners/operators of classic midcentury modern Palm Springs apartment hotel designed in 1956 by renowned Palm Springs architect Howard Lapham.  

Guests mingled while touring the meticulously restored property and enjoying catered refreshments. At twilight, students were recognized by Robert Imber, PSMODCOM Education Committee Chairman and other board members. Congratulations were given all around as students shared their educational plans and career aspirations, and proud parents expressed gratitude for PSMODCOM’s financial support.

“Every year, PSMODCOM has more talented students pursuing architectural careers applying for our four scholarships,” remarked Imber. “This makes the selection increasingly difficult, yet, the rigorous review process is a small effort on the part of the PSMODCOM Education Committee. We see the focus and promise of these young people, and nothing is more rewarding than engaging with the scholars as they discover the significance of the built environment and develop appreciation of the important architecture of their own cities.”

2015 scholars Andrew Linares (Desert Hot Springs High School); Nicholas Gayer (Palm Springs High School) Alejandro Flores (Cathedral City High School) and Esmeralda Mendoza (Cathedral City High School) each received framed scholarship certificates, and a tote bag filled with books and documentary DVDs; PSMODCOM’s Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern Architecture Driving Tour Application; and PSMODCOM’s Self-Driving Tour Map — all highlighting the most important mid-century modern architecture in the Palm Springs area.

PS ModCom is a 501 (C-3) non-profit membership organization whose mission includes preservation, education and advocacy for the desert modern midcentury modern architecture. The Committee provides four scholarships to graduating senior high school students who have expressed interest in pursuing a career in architecture, preservation, city planning, or environmental studies. One student from each of the three Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD) high schools is selected from a cache of applicants meeting various criteria provided by the school's counseling department. Funds are provided to the student's college or university school account to be used at their discretion for tuition, supplies, or for housing. The scholarship can also be applied to a PSMODCOM-approved independent project proposed by the scholarship recipient. Every year PSMODCOM is pleased to participate in each of the school's awards ceremonies, where students receive a complimentary PSMODCOM membership and packet of educational materials as part of their scholarship.

The Palm Springs Modern Committee
Nickie McLaughlin; [email protected]

Photography by David Crotty