In the spirit of the trailblazing accomplishments of Pryce, one undergraduate and one graduate student will be awarded a scholarship. Given the low numbers of Black students and practitioners in landscape architecture, this scholarship program was established to assist a new generation of Black students to advance and sustain their educational pursuits.
The awards will be based on the student’s potential as demonstrated by their work, academic achievements, service to their program and university, and recommendations. Each recipient shall be awarded $3,000
Questions are due by September 16th, 2023
Applications are due October 13th, 2023
Awards announced October 28th, 2023
All Scholarship applicants are required to submit the following materials using the online form with basic contact information and details about your degree program, which will include:
Applicants will be evaluated based on the following:
The jury will use this material to determine which applicant would be best served to receive the award.
Edward Pryce, landscape architect, horticulturist, educator, and artist, has left an indelible stamp on the landscape design of Tuskegee University (formerly TUSKEGEE INSTITUTE), where he served from 1948 until 1977 as superintendent of buildings and grounds and professor in the School of Architecture, and from 1977 to 1990 as consulting landscape architect. Using his industry and creative abilities, Pryce made a name for himself in the profession of landscape architecture during a period when there were few practitioners and even fewer Black practitioners.
Edward Pryce was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1914, the son of George Codrington Pryce, who owned a pharmacy there, and Dora Raymond, a housewife. His father, who was an 1898 graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, moved his family to Los Angeles, California, when the cost of educating his eight children in a private high school in New Orleans became too expensive. African Americans were prohibited from attending the public high school in Lake Charles back then.
Pryce attended the public schools of Los Angeles and then in 1932 entered the pre-medicine program at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was one of only five Black students. After a year and a half, he changed from medicine to horticulture when he met a Black plant specialist who persuaded him to go study with the preeminent agricultural scientist Dr. George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute. Arriving at Tuskegee Institute, Pryce signed on as an assistant to Dr. Carver, who was on sabbatical from teaching, but was continuing to conduct his now-famous agricultural experiments. As his assistant, Pryce collected mushrooms for Carver’s mycologic studies. He also collected edible weeds, such as wild lettuce and dandelions, which Dr. Carver used to demonstrate to Black subsistence farmers the nutritional value.
After earning his bachelor of science degree in agriculture from Tuskegee Institute in 1937, Pryce’s interest in landscape architecture took hold when he worked as landscape foreman on the “San Marino” estate of the president of the Southern Pacific Railroad, Collins P. Huntington, in San Marino, California from 1937 until 1939. During World War II, Pryce was a park maintenance foreman for the City of Los Angeles. After earning the bachelor of science degree in landscape architecture from Ohio State University in 1948, Pryce, who was married with two children by then, returned to Tuskegee Institute, where from 1948 until 1955 he was head of the Department of Ornamental Horticulture and in charge of campus landscape maintenance. In 1953 he earned the master of landscape architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
At Tuskegee Institute, Pryce collaborated closely with David Augustus Williston, one of the first African American landscape architects who was integrally involved in the master planning and planting of the campus. From 1955 to 1969, Pryce was superintendent of buildings and grounds and was responsible for 72 buildings and 140 housing units. He faced the challenge of inadequate funding to maintain the historic buildings on Tuskegee’s campus, which in 1965 had been designated a National Historic Landmark. Pryce was the first Black to be licensed as a landscape architect when he received his state of Alabama license in 1972. Also in 1972, he wrote the grant proposal that resulted in the campus being nominated as a National Historic Site two years later. From 1969 to 1977, Pryce was a part-time instructor in the Department of Architecture and part-time campus planner.
Pryce’s landscape architecture projects reached far beyond Tuskegee Institute. He served as a consultant in facilities planning and maintenance for two higher-education facilities in Liberia, West Africa: Zorzor College and Kakata Teacher Training College. As consultant for campus and grounds planning and maintenance with the Robert R. Moton Memorial Institute, Plant Management Program, he worked with eight historically Black colleges and universities in the South from 1976 through 1982. He also served as consultant landscape architect for two Mass Area Rapid Transit Authority stations in Atlanta, Georgia. Pryce retired from private practice in 1990.
Throughout his career, Pryce relied on nature to guide his landscape designs. He maintained that a landscape that required minimal maintenance was more ecologically sound because it required less water and less polluting chemicals. He believed that grass and trees are the basis of a landscape; that there is little need for flower beds, which not only impede pedestrian flow, but are also labor intensive. He was particularly disdainful of drastically pruning shrubs with electric shears, preferring a naturally formed shrub over an artificially sculptured one.
In honor of his distinguished career in landscape architecture, Pryce was elected a fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) in 1979. He was the first African American to receive this honor, and the first landscape architect, White or Black, from the state of Alabama. Becoming a fellow carried with it a tinge of irony - because of his race he had been denied membership in the southeastern chapter of ASLA when he returned to Tuskegee, Alabama, in the late 1940s. Years later, however, when state chapters were formed, he was elected by his peers as vice-president of the Alabama chapter and served from 1977 to 1978.
After his retirement from Tuskegee Institute, Pryce devoted much of his time to painting Afro-centric these and carving wood sculptures. His works of art can be found in buildings on the campus of Tuskegee Institute, including the mural and copper bas-relief in Tuskegee Chapel. Two 45-foot-long murals depicting African American history are on display in the local Booker T. Washington High School. His paintings, which incorporate copper, are the dominant artworks for the newly renovated Hollis Burke Frissell Library.
In 1940 Pryce married Woodia B. Smith, who was born in Tuskegee, Alabama, when her father, the Reverend Woodford S. Smith, was pastor of the Greenwood Missionary Baptist Church. The Pryces, who met as students at Tuskegee Institute, have two daughters: Marilyn and Joellen.
Source: Wilson, Spurlock Dreck, Editor. African American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary, 1865-1945. Routledge. New York, NY. 2004. (Biography by: Joellen ElBashir - Daughter of Edward Lyons Pryce)