Pritzker Prize–winning architect Francis Kéré will be the namesake of a new scholarship at the Yale School of Architecture. Funding from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation will support a program of Francis Kéré Scholars, open to African students studying architecture at Yale.
Kéré, who is from Burkina Faso, is best known for the Berlin-based firm he founded in 2005, Kéré Architecture. Prior to that, he founded the Kéré Foundation, which supports education, environmental, and health projects in Kéré’s hometown of Gando, Burkina Faso. Kéré Architects’ ongoing work includes the National Assembly of Benin and the Goethe Institut Dakar.
Kéré has had a relationship with Yale since his initial visiting professorship in 2019. Kéré was appointed the Louis I. Kahn Visiting Professor in Fall 2022, and has taken students to Ghana and Benin as part of his courses, which tend to focus on investigations of sustainable materials and new construction methods.
In a statement Kéré said: “It is a tremendous honor to have this scholarship named after me… There are so many aspiring African architects and with a Yale education they will be able to excel. I am the first African architect to be recognized with a Pritzker and, thanks to the Francis Kéré Scholarship, I hope there will be many more to come.”
The Francis Kéré Scholarship Fund could see future growth with additional gifts earmarked for it. Out of a total of 225 enrolled in graduate programs at the School of Architecture, ten students are from Africa. Yale stands out from many other educational institutions in that it offers need-based financial aid blind of nationality.
Dean Deborah Berke described the scholarship, adding in a press release, “This gift ensures that anyone with the drive and the skills will be able to pursue the career they want… this scholarship will empower future generations of leaders.”
Kéré’s scholarship follows that of another Pritzker Prize–winning architect supporting the next generation of designers: Kevin Roche. This year marked the first year of the Jane & Kevin Roche Scholarship Fund, a scholarship created in honor of the celebrated architect Roche; the program was announced last year at an event held at the Yale School of Architecture.