Interior designer, Auburn alumnus returns for Grisham/Trentham lecture

Bobby McAlpineAUBURN – Bobby McAlpine, an Auburn University alumnus who is internationally recognized for his work in architecture and interior design, will be the featured speaker for the 2011 Grisham/Trentham Lecture Series on Thursday, April 7, at 11 a.m. in the auditorium of The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

McAlpine, a native of the Monroe County community of Vredenburgh in southwest Alabama, graduated from Auburn’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction, and founded the architectural firm of McAlpine Tankersley in Montgomery. He also established the design firm of McAlpine Booth and Ferrier Interiors and McAlpine Home, a handcrafted furniture company. His visit to Auburn, however, will focus on the world of interior design.

“Bobby McAlpine is about creating environments that are conducive to relationships,” said Melanie Duffey, an interior design instructor with the College of Human Sciences and chair of this year’s lecture series. “He’s out to prove that [interior] design impacts more than what people think of on a day-to-day basis.”

The atrium of the conference center will once again feature the competitive design entries from both interior design and apparel design students.

Students in apparel design will participate in the Grisham/Trentham Competitive Design Symposium on Wednesday, April 6, at a private reception for McAlpine. For the Interior Design Merit Award Competition, each student will create an exhibit space featuring an architectural response to disaster relief from the book, “Design Like You Give a Damn” by Architecture for Humanity.

“The book has a social responsibility theme, showing how design makes a difference,” Duffey said. “It’s the students’ challenge to design a way to market that.”

The top designers from both programs will be recognized at the lecture. The Apparel Design Awards are provided through the Betty Winn Little Endowment for Awards for Creativity. The Interior Design Merit Awards are again sponsored by Krueger International, a furniture manufacturer based in Green Bay, Wisc., thanks to Milton Bresler, a 1973 Auburn alumnus.

Bresler has served as the senior territory manager for KI since 1999 and was recently named chair of the College of Human Sciences’ Interior Design Advisory Board. The board of design professionals serves in a variety of ways to support and enhance Auburn’s interior design program.

The Grisham/Trentham Lecture Series was started at Auburn University in 1987 by professor Gary Trentham as a way of bringing world-class designers and business leaders to campus to share their experiences with Auburn students. It is supported by an endowment created by the late Charles Grisham, an Auburn alumnus, and Betty Grisham, an artist and textile designer, from Huntsville.

(Written by Amy Weaver.)

Contact: Melanie Duffey, (334) 844-1334 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (