Architecture student plans life-changing travel experience with $20,000 award

Contact: Christie McNeal

Maria I. Ory (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss. —Another Mississippi State junior architecture student will experience the trip of a lifetime and learn more about her field this summer through first-hand visits to some of the world’s most renowned buildings.

Maria I. Ory of Destrehan, Louisiana, will use the $20,000 Aydelott Travel Award to visit and research buildings in Austria, China, Mexico and Spain. She is the third MSU recipient since the endowed award was established in 2016.

Ory’s itinerary includes studies of Casa Batllo by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain; Palace Portois & Fix by Max Fabiani in Vienna, Austria; Cuadra San Cristobal by Luis Barragan in Mexico City, Mexico; and Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl in Beijing, China. Her research will focus on how these architects integrate color into their designs, which she also will document through paintings, among other methods.

“The review committee was very impressed with Maria’s unique approach to analyzing buildings by focusing on the integration of color and design in 20th century architecture,” said F.L. Crane Professor and Director of MSU’s School of Architecture Michael Berk. “The jury was also very impressed with the professionalism of her proposal, which clearly demonstrated a high-level response to the goals of the Aydelott Travel Award. My office will look forward to reviewing the results of Maria’s research and travel.”

Charles “Trey” Box III (Photo by Megan Bean)

Additionally, Junior Charles “Trey” Box III of Jackson is receiving a $4,800 Trussell Travel Award to support his international research and travel this summer on experimental housing in the 1970s. His proposal includes housing complexes in London, England; Delft, Netherlands; and Barcelona, Spain. The Trussell Travel Award is funded by alumnus Ted T. Porter.

“The Aydelott Travel Award offers a student an opportunity that can and should change the trajectory of their architectural career,” said MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design Dean Jim West.

“This award enables students to research, visit, study and comprehend visionary pieces of architecture in a way never available to them before. I look forward to observing a true transformation in the recipients of this award,” West said.

Ory said she is thankful for the extraordinary experience. “I cannot thank the Aydelotts enough for this award and the MSU School of Architecture,” she said. “I feel as though the school has really given a solid foundation for me to proceed with this endeavor and have it end in success.”

The architecture student will return to MSU in the fall to work with her faculty adviser, School of Architecture Assistant Professor Andrew Reed Tripp. She will compile her research and observations into a report to be judged against fellow Aydelott Travel Award recipients from other universities.

The $2.4 million endowment – established by the late Alfred Lewis Aydelott and his wife, Hope Galloway Aydelott – provides an award each year to four architecture students currently enrolled in the professional architecture degree programs at Mississippi State as well as the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Auburn University; and the University of Tennessee.

One student will receive the Aydelott Prize and an additional $5,000.

For more information about the Aydelott Travel Award and other fellowships in the School of Architecture at Mississippi State, visit

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