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Architecture graduates recognized as Distinguished Alumni

October 20, 2008

A team of School of Architecture Alumni was recognized at The University of Texas at Arlington’s 2008 Distinguished Alumni Gala, presented on October 11 at the campus’s Bluebonnet Ballroom.

Azroei Ahmad and Mohd. Zamberi Kusa received the Team Award in recognition of their contributions to architecture in their native country of Malaysia and worldwide as the driving force behind Azarch Interiors. Azarch is a large professional practice with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, New Delhi and in Kazakhstan. Ahmad serves as chief executive officer and Kusa as chief operations officer. They represent more than forty-five Malaysian graduates of the School of Architecture from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s who studied architecture under the sponsorship of the Malaysian government. It was an experiment that fulfilled its intent—to train young architects in the United States so they would return and contribute to the rapid development of Malaysia.

Ahmad and Kusa are graduates of the School of Architecture, both receiving bachelor’s degrees in 1991 and master’s degrees in 1993. Ahmad is a registered architect with the Board of Architects in Malaysia and a member of the Malaysian Institute of Architects. Kusa is a graduate member of the Malaysian Institute of Architects. Both have completed works in Kuala Lumpur, Havana, Beijing, London, and Kazakhstan, with ongoing works in Dubai, Tripoli, New Delhi, and Islamabad.

UT Arlington’s annual Distinguished Alumni Gala recognizes outstanding alumni for their individual achievements, contributions to their industry or profession and service to The University of Texas at Arlington. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor given by the University and Alumni.
Distinguished alumni


We are extremely pleased and deeply honored to receive the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award. We would like to take this opportunity to express our utmost appreciation to UTA and the Distinguished Alumni Gala Committee for honoring us.

We would also like to thank Dr. Judy Young who has been like a mother to us. She has continued to bridge UTA and us for the last fifteen years. You are indeed a very special person in our lives.

Our special gratitude to the UTA School of Architecture Dean Donald Gatzke, Professor Todd Hamilton and the entire faculty. This award is dedicated to all of you and to more than forty-five Malaysian graduates who you have greatly influenced.

To Professor Richard Ferrier, we know you are reading this speech, and we can never thank you enough for always being there for us. You have been more than a lecturer during our days at UTA; you were a father and you will always be.

We are very grateful to the UTA School of Architecture for making us work so hard during our school days and making us so “Architecture” that we have to continue to work and could not even be here to accept the award!

Ladies and Gentlemen…

This prestigious award comes at an auspicious time, virtually at the time of our ongoing project presentations to the Government of Khazakstan for a prestigious Conference Center, Hotel and Business Center in its capital city in Astana. It’s even more meaningful as the project is targeted for a ministerial summit of Organization of Security and Cooperation of Europe (OSCE) in 2010 of which Astana would be the host. We humbly share this with you tonight as we always believe that our success is contributed by the outstanding education and intellectual inspiration we received at UTA.

Tonight, even though we are not here, we could feel the joy in the air. Tonight, our spirits take part in this celebration. History is being made in our lives. We are being honored from a far away place, from a place that is so close to our hearts.

Finally, our regrets and sincerest apologies for not being here, and please accept our many thanks to everyone in this room. Because of you, the light of our relationship will always burn brightly, and together we will continue to carry UTA with honor and pride to every part of the world.

Thank you so much to all of you. Thank God, and please enjoy the rest of the evening.


Azroei Ahmad & Mohd Zamberi Kusa