February 23, 2022 Devotion from a Giving Spirit Creates a Scholarship for Memphis Students

In a poignant display of faith, devotion and dedication, Beverly “Cate” Bradshaw is helping students in Memphis attend our Summer Design Camp, a generous act that honors a man who devoted his life to others.

In November 2021, Mrs. Bradshaw established the Kenneth J. Bradshaw Design Camp Scholarship Endowment, which will support rising high school students in Shelby County, Tennessee, to attend our summer camp. The endowment is a labor of love of Mrs. Bradshaw as well as friends and family members in memory of her late husband, Kenneth Bradshaw, who passed away in 2020.


Ken Bradshaw standing in front of flags
Written by Beverly Bradshaw:

Kenneth J. “Ken” Bradshaw lived a life of giving. To honor his life and his memory, his widow, Beverly Cate Bradshaw, has established an endowment in his name so that his giving spirit lives on.

“As a child, Kenneth had dreamed of being an architect when he grew up,” recalled Beverly. “As a student, he took Shop every year he could and was a member of the Industrial Arts Club. He’d taken four years of mechanical drawing at Manassas High School and dreamed of becoming an architect. But his parents couldn’t afford to send him to college. So, he went to work, choosing carpentry as his profession.”

For 46 years, Ken worked at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), starting as a carpenter’s assistant and retiring as Director of Facilities Administration. During his tenure, his responsibilities grew to include oversight for 38 buildings, more than 200 people, and an annual budget of $19 million. He continued to grow his professional knowledge by taking Continuing Education classes from the American Institute of Architects. Additionally, he successfully completed the Limited Residential Contractor License Course at Chattanooga State Technical College and had been an independent Contractor for over 25 years.

Ken retired from UTHSC on March 6, 2020. Even in retirement, Ken wanted to keep a hand in the field he had always loved, so he developed a plan to launch a youth mentoring program called ‘From Carpenters 2 Architects’ as a 501C3 nonprofit organization. 

Only a few weeks after retiring he felt ill, as though coming down with a cold. On March 24, Beverly called 911 because he was having trouble breathing. He was hospitalized and two days later he died of COVID-19 pneumonia and became Shelby County’s first COVID-19 victim.

“Ken never gave up, never gave in, never forgot where he came from, and always gave back,” said Beverly.

Starting in 2022, his legacy will continue in the form of a $25,000 endowment. The Kenneth James Bradshaw Design Camp Scholarship will allow 9th-12th grade students from Shelby County to attend the UT Knoxville College of Architecture + Design Summer Camp. 

headshot of Beverly Bradshaw
“The purpose in choosing to fund this endowment is to help the university achieve its goal to impact diversity in the architecture profession,” explained Beverly. “When I remember Ken, I can think of nothing more appropriate than building on his passion and carrying it forward in future generations.” 

Ken’s Cate



The scholarship is expected to cover the full tuition for camp, and the inaugural scholarship should be awarded in 2023.

UT College of Architecture and Design’s Summer Design Camp began in 2011 to introduce high school students to design and design education at UT. The camp focuses on architecture, graphic design, interior architecture and landscape architecture, from the scale of the word and object to the scale of the landscape and city. Download the Summer Design Camp brochure.

Registration for the 2022 Summer Design Camp is open. Read about the camp as well as how to apply for scholarships.

The College of Architecture and Design gratefully acknowledges Beverly Bradshaw’s determination to express her husband’s legacy of love and generosity and Kenneth Bradshaw’s unwavering desire to help youth fulfill their dreams. Thank you, Cate and Ken.



Read David Waters’s article in the Daily Memphian: