In 1921, Frank P. Gates of Clarksdale, Mississippi, corresponded with a friend and colleague, W.T. Trueblood of St. Louis, Missouri, to begin the effort to organize an AIA chapter in what was then the “Territory of Mississippi.” The first problem was to convince enough Mississippi architects to join the AIA. A minimum of five members was needed to be able to request the formation of a new chapter. Prior to the formation of the Mississippi chapter, architects were associate members of the Louisiana chapter and attended meetings in New Orleans.

Throughout the 20s and struggling to gather enough architects to form a chapter, N.W. Overstreet continued the pursuit of forming AIA Mississippi. Records show Overstreet urging his colleagues: “I am sure such an organization will be beneficial to every man practicing architecture in its motive to promote a higher standard for the architectural profession.” Overstreet distributed the necessary paperwork for a group of state architects to register with AIA National facilitating AIA Mississippi’s official charter in November 1929.

The first chapter meeting was held on January 8, 1930, at which time board of directors–also the founding members– were elected and instated. They included:

  • N.W. Overstreet (Jackson) | President
  • Emmett Hull (Jackson) | First Vice President
  • Vinson B. Smith, Jr. (Gulfport) | Secretary Treasurer
  • Frank P. Gates | Executive Committee
  • D.B. Shourds (Gulfport) | Executive Committee
  • Claude Lindsley (Jackson) | Executive Committee

Chapter members agreed to meet often to “discuss problems confronting architects and their relationship with the public to create more interest in an art that can be applied to masonry and steel buildings that will outlive a civilization, and which will express to future civilization the culture and character of the people who built.”

Membership grew slowly through the Depression but expanded rapidly after WW2. From 1940 to 1944, membership hovered around 15. In 1945, membership stood at 25 expanding rapidly to 38 in 1947, and 51 in 1950.


Chapter Mission | Plan

AIA Mississippi strives to design a professional organization that meets the needs of our members, advances our communities, and makes our world a better place for all of us to live, work and play. We view thoughtful planning, ongoing discussion and sharing of ideas among members and key constituents as critical to our success.



The following goals serve as a model for current and future Chapter activities and program planning. These goals are based on the AIA Brand Platform (Architects Together), focusing our ongoing efforts in the areas of Community, Knowledge, and Advocacy.

Our COMMUNITY Goals are

  • To expand membership
  • To promote fellowship and Collaboration among members and within our community
  • To celebrate each other’s accomplishments
  • To increase public awareness of AIA Mississippi and the profession of architecture
  • To increase member support and involvement
  • To provide an efficient, effective, and financially stable organization

Our KNOWLEDGE Goals are

  • To facilitate the sharing of knowledge about design and about practice that inspires and enables members and the public
  • To promote leadership development
  • To facilitate opportunities to integrate practice with academic knowledge
  • To supportinternship and mentoring of our emerging architects
  • To provide a well-defined continuing education program for our members

Our ADVOCACY Goals are

  • To facilitate effective dialog between our members and the public
  • To expand the influence of architects in the community
  • To advocate for better community design
  • To serve as a voice on community, legislative, and design matters
  • To promote AIA members and the value of their services to the public

AIA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

The AIA has a long history of requiring that its Members adhere to the highest ethical standards. The preamble to the AIA’s Code of Ethics describes the principles upon which the Code of Ethics is based and includes a brief summary of the document. It provides that “Members of The American Institute of Architects are dedicated to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and competence. This Code states guidelines for the conduct of Members in fulfilling those obligations.”The Code is arranged in three tiers of statements: Canons, Ethical Standards, and Rules of Conduct.

Learn more about the high standards to which all AIA members aspire, or click here to download  the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct document from AIA National.
For more information on AIA member ethics and professional responsibility, including answers to frequently asked questions about the Ethics Process, visit AIA National. It is important to note that the AIA Code of Ethics is applied only to Members of the American Institute of Architects. Any complaints against an AIA member would be handled by the National Ethics Council (NEC). The National Ethics Council enforces the Code of Ethics and consists of seven Members of the Institute who are appointed by the AIA’s Board of Directors.

State-wide Resources

The Mississippi State Board of Architecture is responsible for the licensure of architects and landscape architects in Mississippi and the regulation of these practices. The State of Mississippi has authorized the Board to regulate, enforce, and investigate alleged violations of its laws and rules by those practicing architecture and landscape architecture. Any person may file a complaint with the Board for an alleged violation.