May 1, 2019 Dial Barton Tapped to Give Commencement Address

Sheila Dial Barton

Sheila Dial Barton, AIA, LEED AP, (B.Arch ’97), will give the address for the college’s 2019 commencement on May 11, 4:30 p.m., Thompson-Boling Arena.  Dial Barton is a principal with EOA Architects in Nashville, whose work includes Nashville’s first LEED-Gold high-rise building, The Pinnacle at Symphony Place.  EOA’s recent work includes the $160M new Tennessee State Museum, which opened in October 2018.

Dial Barton was named principal at EOA in 2015.  In addition to earning a Bachelor of Architecture from UT, she studied Interior Design at the Art Institute of Atlanta and urban planning through the college’s foreign exchange program in Krakow, Poland.

In her commencement speech, Dial Barton will convey insights about curiosity, humility and empathy.  “A great designer never stops asking questions,” she says.  With her clever wit, Dial Barton will describe her personal path through career and motherhood, offer advice to young designers and challenge the graduates to “stand up for what you think is right.”

She will urge celebration of diversity, an understanding of empathy to become better designers, the importance of having mentors and the value of humility.  “It is the ability to understand and share the feelings of other people that allows us to be human and to be better architects,” she says.

Dial Barton has served as president of the AIA Middle Tennessee and director of the Middle Tennessee Young Architects forum.  She currently serves on the Metro Public Arts Committee and the board of directors of The DISTRICT, a group promoting the three historical districts in downtown Nashville.

She is a member of the Urban Land Institute and the Nashville Civic Design Center.

Commencement is set for May 11, 4:30-7:00 p.m., Thompson-Boling Arena, 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way.