The American College of the Building Arts

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Annual Report for FY2016

Annual Report for FY'16

  • Opening Remarks

  • FY'16 was a watershed year for the American College of the Building Arts.

    You are receiving this annual report because you supported ACBA this past fiscal year. Now we’re proud to show you what has been accomplished with that support, your return on investment in ACBA.

    As America’s only nonprofit liberal arts college dedicated to educating artisans to create with their hands, reason with their minds, and preserve and create our architectural treasures wroldwide, ACBA is proud to share that:

    • More than 90 percent of our graduates secured full-time career positions in their chosen field by the time they graduate.
    • ACBA students graduated with an average of $11,000 in student debt, well below the national average of $37,172 (according to 2016 Student Loan Debt Statistics).

    FY'16 was a whirlwind of activity, as the school moved toward completing the rehabilitation of its new campus, located within the city’s historic Old Trolley Barn, c. 1897, at 649 Meeting Street in Charleston, SC, the nation’s leader in the preservation movement. The work accomplished in FY'16 allowed ACBA to welcome students to its state-of-the-art facility this past fall semester.

    Thank you. You provided the means for these accomplishments. I hope you will take a moment to read more about the highlights of FY'16 by exploring the links below.

  • President's Address

  • Dear friends of ACBA

    It is with a great deal of pride we provide a summary of the growth of the American College of the Building Arts over roughly the past year. Since this is being completed after the close of the fiscal year, I am going to start by saying how much we appreciate all your support in completing the new campus for our students. We opened the academic year the week of Labor Day--a bit delayed by the first of two hurricanes to hit Charleston this fall. Many of you were able to join us for the official ribbon-cutting in October and we appreciate your comments on how well the old Trolley Barn looked as the College's new campus!

    FY'16 saw growth in student recruiting. This important aspect of growth continues and we believe we have a better facility which should help with attracting well-qualified students in increasing numbers. The education process remains everything the founders envisioned--a strong academic foundation enhanced by training artisans for the American workforce. Graduates continue to find employment in the areas in which they trained. Every year more and more of them start their own companies. They are the American success story.

    FY'16 saw another deferral in the campaign to being granted accreditation. Dr Ted Landsmark is overseeing the process and will be successful. The major hurdle was the lack of a facility in which to educate artisans; that is obviously now behind us. Accreditation is truly important for our students as they seek funding to support their education. Thanks to those of you who have financed our scholarship programs; a majority of our students benefit from your support.

    Financially, the re-purposing of the new campus is a great success story. Major gifts in FY'15 and '16 raised well over half the funds necessary to complete the project. Currently the College is taking advantage of tax credits from both the state of South Carolina and the United States government through the auspices of an advisory board member. These funds will go a long way to ensuring the new campus is not a major financial burden for future years and ensure gifts to the College go to support education which is our mission.

    You will see that we have been good stewards of your support. Over 70% of the funds have gone directly into support of education - for 8 of the last 9 years.

    As we get into FY'17, we look to further student body growth, continued financial stability, and increased efforts in getting the word out about ACBA. You will see a few new names on the Board of Trustees. We truly appreciate the leadership of all the past board members who have overseen the growth of a nationally important institution of higher education so important to both the preservation movement and those willing to build the best possible structure using classical techniques and materials.

    To close this note, I would like to acknowledge the support of the College by the Hawk family. Many of you know Nancy Hawk served the board from the founding. Margaret H. O'Brien served for many years as a board member. Both were honored with emeritus status when they left the board. As important as their leadership was, the entire Hawk family worked tirelessly to support the growth of ACBA. Please ensure you thank them when you get a chance.

    As we enter the holiday season, let me wish you all the best for the Season and the New Year.

    Educating Artisans;

    Colby Broadwater

  • Donors

  • What it means to be a supporter of ACBA.

    ACBA extends its greatest thanks to its donors - without your support, the dream of ACBA could not be realized. Your annual giving allows us to uphold our mission of educating artisans. No matter how necessary an idea may be, without monetary support it will remain an idea. Your charity manifests our collective dream.

  • The Hawk Family

    ACBA gives a special thank you to the Hawk family for their contributions to the college. Without your assistance, the dream of ACBA would not be where it is today.

  • Donations over $100,000
    • Dr. and Mrs. A. Bert Pruitt
    • South Carolina Dept. of Archives & History
  • $50,000 - $100,000
    • Dr. and Mrs. McRae Cave Banks, II
    • Mrs. ELizabeth Belcher
    • Mr. and Mrs. James Gibson
    • Mrs. Nancy Hadley
    • Dr. and Mrs. John Chrisman Hawk, III
    • Mr. and Mrs. Dennis O'Brien
    • Mr. and Mrs. Paul E. Raether
    • Dr. and Mrs. Stanley M. Wilson
    • Camp Younts Foundation
  • $25,000 - $50,000
    • Anonymous in Memory of Nancy Hawk
    • Mr. Richard Sammons
    • Kendel H. Kennedy Fund
    • Kennedy-Herterich Fund of Ethel & W. George Kennedy Family Foundation, Inc.
    • SCM Group
  • $10,000 - $25,000
    • Lt. Gen. (Ret.) and Mrs. Colby M. Broadwater, III
    • Mr. Thomas Carpenter
    • Mr. Mark Regalbutto / ReNew Urban
    • Mr. John Shannon and Mr. Curtis Estes
    • Dr. and Mrs. Frederick Solomon
    • Ms. Patience D. Walker
    • Mr. and Mrs. David A. Westerlund
    • Craftsmen Scholarship
    • Creel-Harrison Foundation
    • HITT Foundation
    • The Joanna Foundation
  • $5,000 - $10,000
    • Mr. and Mrs. William Baker, Jr.
    • Ms. Jo Ann Cooper
    • Mr. and Mrs. George Hamner, Jr.
    • Mr. Pierre Manigault
    • Mr. and Mrs. David McLane
    • Mrs. Lyric Ogden
    • Mr. and Mrs. Carl Raether
    • Mr. John Winthrop
    • EBSCO Industries, Inc.
    • Employees Community Fund of Boeing
    • LeCreuset of America
    • Palmetto Community Action Partnership
    • Post and Courier Foundation
    • Ruth Camp Campbell Foundation
    • South Carolina Arts Commission
    • Westrock Community Dev. Land Mgmt. Group
  • $2,000 - $5,000
    • Mr. and Mrs. McAleer / The Kim Edward McAleer Trust
    • Mr. and Mrs. Tyler Bickerstaff
    • Mr. and Mrs. Justin Boykin
    • Mr. Ben Brazell / First Reliance Bank
    • Mr. and Mrs. Stephan L. Christiansen
    • Mr. and Mrs. William P. Copenhaver, III
    • Ms. Helen Gordon
    • Mr. Forrest Mulcahy
    • Mr. Felix Von Nathusius / IFA Rotorion North America, LLC.
    • Dr. Pamela and Mr. Virgil Niesslein
    • Mr. David T. Orthwein
    • Mr. and Mrs. William W. Struthers
    • Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Ziff
    • Charleston Scientific and Cultural Education Fund
    • English Speaking Union, Charleston Branch
    • Guild of Colonial Artisans & Tradesmen
    • Harry Webster Walker II Charitable Trust
    • Steelfab SC
  • $1,000 - $2,000
    • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Almeida
    • Mr. and Mrs. Hal Averett
    • Ms. Ann Baldwin
    • Ms. Susan Bass and Mr. Thomas Bradford
    • Ms. Katrina Becker
    • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bickerstaff
    • Dr. Joseph R. Cockrell
    • Rev. and Mrs. Cress Darwin
    • Mr. and Mrs. David DeDonato
    • Mr. and Mrs. John Downing
    • Mr. and Mrs. Walter Fiederowicz
    • Ms. Florence Fowlkes
    • Mr. and Mrs. Ronald B. Griffin
    • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Huss / Huss Construction
    • Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Jimenez, IV
    • Mr. and Mrs. Carson Knizevski
    • Ms. Jacquelynne Lanham / Jacquelynne P. Lanham Designs
    • Mr. and Mrs. John LaVerne
    • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Leadem
    • Ms. Anne Rhodes Lee
    • Ms. Margaret Malaspina
    • Dr. Celeste and Mr. Charles Patrick
    • Mr. and Mrs. Scott Saad
    • Ms. Pamela Simons
    • Ms. Alison Spear and Mr. Alex Reese
    • Mrs. W. Leigh Thompson
    • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Turkewitz
    • Mr. John H. Warren, III
    • Mr. Simeon A. Warren / S. A. Warren & Daughters
    • Mr. Joe Whisonant
    • Barker Welfare Foundation
    • Elisha-Bolton Foundation
    • Elizabeth C. Rivers Lewine Charitable Trust
    • Exchange Club of Charleston
    • Frezel Foundation Trust Agency
    • Johnson Metalsmithing
    • Knight Press
    • Leadem Family Foundation
    • Linda and Harriet Ripinsky Scholarship
    • Luxury Simplified
    • Marion & Wayland H. Cato Jr. Foundation
    • Mersky, Jaffe & Associates
    • National Association of Women in Construction, Columbus, GA Chapter
    • Nicoll & Daubon, LLC.
    • Rotary Club of Estes Park, Colorado
    • Rachel Cosby Conway Charitable Foundation
    • Saul Alexander Foundation
    • Timber Artisans, LLC.
  • $500 to $999
    • Ms. Charlotte Beers
    • Ms. Mary B. Bradford-White and Mr. Lynn White
    • Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth M. Caldwell
    • Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Cantrell
    • Mr. and Mrs. David Creech
    • Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Drew
    • Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Galli, Jr.
    • Mr. and Mrs. William Hecht
    • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Keigher
    • Ms. Sandra Korn
    • Mr. and Mrs. Michael Mickiewicz
    • Mrs. Payne W. Middleton
    • Mr. and Mrs. Ned Payne
    • Ms. Marsha Russell / Satinwood LLC.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Rutherford
    • Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Seeger
    • Mr. and Mrs. Albert Simons, III
    • Mr. T. Grange Simons
    • Mr. and Mrs. W. Charles Sullivan
    • Mr. and Mrs. Larry W. Tarleton
    • Mrs. Elizabeth Vice
    • Dr. and Mrs. Richard Walker
    • Mr. Eugene Wambold
    • Dr. and Mrs. James Yanney
    • Bulldog Tours, Inc.
    • DuVall Events
    • Henry Fair Family Fund
    • Joseph H. Duncan Jr. American Legion
    • Milwaukee Tools, Inc.
    • Regions Bank
    • Peters Paint & Wallcovering, Inc.
    • Snyder Bar / Snyder Event Rentals
    • Tidewater Brick Co., LLC.
  • $250 to $500
    • Ms. Mirella Abbo and Mr. Furman K. Stanley
    • Mr. David Adams
    • Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Altman
    • Ms. Catherine Cahill and Mr. William Bernhard
    • Ms. Lorraine H. Cichowski
    • Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Colen
    • Dr. and Mrs. Jonathan L. Dieter, Jr.
    • Ms. Carol Drowata and Ms. Lois Jones
    • Mr. David Drysdale
    • Ms. Rebekah Drysdale
    • Ms. Eleanor Reese Gray
    • Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Greenberg
    • Mr. Daniel L. Hertz, Jr.
    • Mrs. Raymond Kessler
    • Ms. Karen Pratt Livingston
    • Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Mikell
    • Mr. Robert S. Morris
    • Mr. Joseph H. Owens
    • Ms. Laura Pichon
    • Ms. Kathleen H. Rivers
    • Mr. Frederick Sales
    • Mr. and Mrs. Bill Semmes
    • Mr. McIver Watson
    • Mr. Edward R. Westbrook
    • Mr. and Mrs. D. Sykes Wilford / Jane and D. Sykes Wilford Foundation
    • Ms. Virginia Zemp
    • Landmark Lodge Ancient Freemasons
    • Michael Mulligan Photography
    • Silicones, Inc.
    • Woodcraft Supply, LLC.
  • $100 to $250
    • Mr. and Mrs. Garrett Bean
    • Ms. Elizabeth Belcher
    • Mr. William Blalock
    • Mr. Sol Blatt Jr.
    • Mr. and Mrs. W. Walker Brock
    • Ms. Ina Brosseau and Mr. Allen Marx
    • Mr. and Mrs. William Buchanan
    • Mr. and Mrs. Bradford Bush
    • Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Butler
    • Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth M. Caldwell
    • Ms. Alice Tellis Critikos
    • Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Conner
    • Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Corley III
    • Ms. Jane P. Hanahan DeButts
    • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dion
    • Mr. Richard Donohue
    • Mr. and Mrs. Peter Michael Earl
    • Dr. and Mrs. Haskell S. Ellison
    • Mr. and Mrs. F. Strait Fairey Jr.
    • Mr. Morgan N. Falk
    • Mr. Ronald Lee Fleming
    • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Foreman
    • Mr. and Mrs. Gerald B. Franceski
    • Mr. E. Damaris Frank
    • Dr. and Mrs. Charles C. Geer
    • Mr. Benjamin Gimarc
    • Mr. Joseph P. Griffith
    • Mr. and Mrs. Barry A. Harms
    • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Heiss
    • Mr. and Mrs. Allen W. Hitchcock
    • Mr. and Mrs. Ozey K. Horton
    • Ms. Susan Jacoby
    • Mr. and Mrs. Henry Keese
    • Mr. Robert W. Kerber
    • Mr. and Mrs. Kristopher King
    • Mr. and Mrs. Karl H. Kuester
    • Mr. Paul Kyllo
    • Ms. Irene M. Lagan
    • Mr. and Mrs. Kershaw LeClerq
    • Mr. James Lundy Jr.
    • Mr. Charles Lynch
    • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lytle
    • Ms. Johanna Martin-Carrington
    • Ms. Landine Manigault
    • Ms. Susan McClinton and Mr. Roy Owen
    • Mr. and Mrs. Dan McGill
    • Mr. and Mrs. James R. McNab, Jr.
    • Ms. Sara Michelin
    • Mr. and Mrs. Howard Mosbacher
    • Dr. and Mrs. B. Owen Ravenel, Jr. Trust
    • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Reilly
    • Mr. and Mrs. Russell Schaible
    • Mr. Henry Siegling
    • Dr. and Mrs. Jack W. Simmons, Jr.
    • Mr. Robert M. Steinberg
    • Mr. Richard C. Stifel
    • Mr. Bruno Sutter
    • Mr. Thomas E. Thornhill
    • Mr. and Mrs. Harry Thurman
    • Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Timmons
    • Mr. Bradford H. Walker
    • Mr. and Mrs. David Wertz
    • Mr. and Mrs. Donald Williams
    • Mr. and Mrs. George W. Williams
    • Mr. Jeffrey B. Wilson
    • Mr. and Mrs. Clinton B. Wylie
    • Mr. Roy Williams III
    • The Cooper School
    • Dorothy's Home for Funerals, Inc.
    • Dufford Young Architects, LLC.
    • Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
    • Glaser Duncan, CPA
    • Humanities Council of South Carolina
    • Michael C. Flynn Trust
    • Siloam Stone, Inc.
    • Taunton Press
    • Woody's Shirts & Scrubs
  • Up to $100
    • Mr. and Mrs. James Beale
    • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bowles
    • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Coen
    • Ms. Stephanie Crette
    • Mr. Robert Daniel
    • Ms. Beth Engel
    • Mr. and Mrs. Antonio Favetta
    • Mr. and Mrs. Robert Glaser
    • Ms. Edith Heston Harmon
    • Mr. and Mrs. John D. Herzog
    • Mr. and Mrs. Edward Higgins
    • Ms. Kaye L. Koonce
    • Mr. James Scott Marcille
    • Ms. Elizabeth McGinty / Blooms by Beth
    • Mr. and Mrs. John E. Milkereit
    • Dr. Maxwell Mowry
    • Mr. and Mrs. Jon Nagle
    • Mr. and Mrs. David Oberstar
    • Mr. John L. Paul / Anderson Insurance Associates
    • Ms. Margaret Peery
    • Ms. Alyson Rae Phillips
    • Ms. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Mr. Andres Duany
    • Mr. and Mrs. James Pratt
    • Mr. and Mrs. Michael R. Price
    • Mr. Nol Putnam
    • Mr. Matt Ropp
    • Mrs. Erica Rowley
    • Ms. Natalie Sadorf
    • Mr. and Mrs. N. Winfield Sapp, Jr.
    • Mr. and Mrs. Richard Schreadley
    • Mr. Mitchell L. Sherman
    • Mr. and Mrs. C.D. Smith
    • Mr. and Mrs. Louis E. Storen
    • Ms. Marilyn Walter
    • Ms. Susan West-Slayton
    • Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wichmann
    • Mr. and Mrs. David Williams
    • Mr. Cameron Wright
    • RE Gallery & Studio, LLC.
    • Toolfetch
    • Wilderman Holdings, Inc.
  • Graduates

  • Bachelor of Applied Sciences

    Andrew James Bayer - B.A.S. Timber Framing

    Thomas Nelson Coleman - B.A.S. Timber Framing

    Samuel Warne Friedman - B.A.S. Architectural Stone

    Phillip Michael Jacob - B.A.S. Architectural Carpentry

    Walker Douglass Janney - B.A.S. Timber Framing

    Shane Robert Sakal - B.A.S. Timber Framing

    Charles David Shuler - B.A.S. Masonry

    Brian Matthew Solomon - B.A.S. Plaster

    Jonathan Cross Swift - B.A.S. Timber Framing

  • Associate of Applied Sciences

    Gregory Neil Bakos - A.A.S. Wood

    Alexander Michael Joyce - A.A.S. Traditional Masonry

  • Trolley Barn Update

  • Construction Complete!

    This year saw the Trolley Barn brought from a derelict shell to an award-winning design.



    In September 2015, we can view the Trolley Barn without most of the roof and none of the interior structure. All of this would change in time for the school year just one year later!



    The completion of the Trolley Barn would not have been possible but for the support of our generous donors. Truly, we are humbled by the amount of support provided. And if the building isn't proof enough, please keep reading through the financial information below to see how well stewarded your donations have been!

  • Accreditation Update

  • Seeking accreditation through ACCSC

    ACBA was actively engaged throughout FY'16 with the ACCSC (Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges) to gain national accreditation for its innovative approach to higher education. The ACCSC is a 45-year-old accrediting body that accredits independent not-for-profit schools focused on career development and professional education.

    This accreditation will enable ACBA to offers students nationally recognized degrees with the ability to transfer credits, as well as access to financial benefits such as federal student loans.

    Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Ted Landsmark, who is overseeing the accreditation process for ACBA, notes that ACBA’s major hurdle to accreditation to date has been the lack of an appropriate facility in which to educate artisans. ACBA’s move to its new campus at the rehabilitated historic Trolley Barn, c. 1897, this fall has significantly moved the school further along on that count, he said. Dr. Landsmark went on to note that although the two acronyms are similar, the ACCSC is an entirely different agency that the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), which focused on for-profit schools prior to its recent decertification.

    ACCSC's programs are directed toward improving retention, advising, career services and governance in support of student success, he said. Unlike other accreditors, including the now defunct ACICS, the ACCSC helps small, independent schools ensure the learning environment and the long-term stability of the institutions.

  • Financial Information

  • ACBA's Financial Position


    ACBA has been steadily improving its financial position since the economic recession in 2008. Thanks to the immense generosity shown by our supporters, ACBA has continued to post a positive net ending balance - for the third straight year!

  • Stewardship of Donations


    ACBA has maintained allocating the vast majority of its resources into its programs for the past 9 fiscal years. The following chart shows that ACBA strives to maintain at least 70% of its funds being reinvested into its programs.


  • Fundraising Efficiency


    ACBA strives to raise funds as efficiently as possible. As the below chart demonstrates, with an efficiency in the low-teens annually. Bear in mind this ratio does not consider things like gains on investments as funds raised since those were not actively stewarded by our team. We follow the criteria promulgated by Charity Watch to ensure our reporting is as accurate and conservative as possible.


  • Events

  • Taste of the Building Arts


    "We are so pleased you could join us on such a happy, momentous occasion for the College. Since its founding as the School of the Building Arts in 1999, the College has bounced around Charleston from one location to another. Now, ACBA is a vagabond no longer. It will have a unified campus with all its functions; administrative offices, classrooms and apprentice workshops; housed in an 1897 building that epitomizes the adaptive re-use philosophy of preservation in Charleston. What could be a more fitting location for this unique educational institution?"
    - Pierre Manigault, Chairman of the Board

    "We are deeply appreciative to all who have contributed time, effort and funding to the College and have enabled us to enjoy this night. With your continued support, we’ll achieve our goals and firmly establish this institution that is so important to our built environment, not only in Charleston, but around the world."
    - Colby Broadwater, President of the College

    We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our Master Level Sponsor, LeCreuset, and to our Confrater Sponsors: HITT Contracting, Regions Bank, SteelFab, and Ichiban Steak House.

    The College extends its thanks to our Journeymen Level Sponsors: Mac&B Events, Two Boroughs Larder, PDA, Spero, Home Team BBQ, Diggity Doughnuts, Mira, Mosaic Catering, Michael Alan Mulligan Photography, Snyder Rental, Nature's Calling, Polished, and Leaf Restaurant.


  • Christopher Werner Weekend


    We extend our sincere gratitude to all those that made this event possible. From the presenters and the demonstrators to the wonderful Dr. Andrea Mehrländer, who was kind enough to come all the way from Berlin, Germany. The Friday lectures were spent discussing the large influx of German migration to Charleston as well as about the interesting life and wonderful work of Christopher Werner. Saturday morning began in ACBA’s blacksmithing shop where attendees got a rare glimpse into the techniques used to accomplish some of Charleston’s beautiful ironwork.

    Following a very much needed lunch break at the Bay Street Biergarten, the group was then led on a walking tour throughout the city by Charleston’s historical research power couple, Nic and Christina Butler. The walking tours led participants through the city visiting important and significant pieces of ironwork while discussing the colorful legacy that many German immigrants have left on the Charleston cityscape.

    We are very excited that we could share an evening with all those that attended and had the opportunity to highlight the work of one of Charleston’s premier artisans.


  • Masters of the Building Arts


    Masters of the Building Arts Festival ("MBA") is a celebration of the extraordinary skill and artistry of master craftspeople and the durability of traditional building techniques. The weekend was filled with professional workshops, hands-on demonstrations, lectures, tours and social events.

    Presenters at this year's MBA included: Kenneth Leap (stained glass), April Magill (sustainable building techniques), Chris Frey (engineering in timber framing), Michael Gilbert (gilding), John Chan (slate roofing), Todd Anderson (screenprinting), and Jill Hooper (freehand drawing).

  • Bubbles and Truffles


    Bubbles and Truffles is our annual gathering in a historic Charleston home - to showcase both the home and the craftsmenship that make homes such as these possible. This year our hosts were Dennie and Margaret O'Brien who graciously offered their home on Chapel Street.

    B&T offers students, both past and present, an opportunity to meet many of the college's supporters and to display their projects in a social environment. Traditionally hosted around graduation week, this annual tradition also serves as a thank-you party for all of the support that we receive throughout the year.

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