May 7, 2018 Graduate Stories: Dillon Dunn

Graduating Students Series

We’re sharing stories of some of our amazing 2018 graduates:  Paul Bamson, Dillon Dunn, Cody Grooms and Lauren Higdon.  These students persevered, elevated their game, exhibited incredible determination and in some cases, overcame significant odds to reach graduation day.  They share their stories and memories along with some advice for younger students.  We thank these students and send congratulations to all of our graduates.


Dunn Named Fulbright Scholar, Dedicates Studies to Research in Architecture

Dillon Dunn at Itsukushima Ritual

If asked about outstanding scholars in the UT College of Architecture and Design, you would name many students, including Dillon Dunn. Dunn, a fifth-year Architecture student, is an award-winning, devoted scholar with a passion for research in architecture.

Originally from Nashville, Tenn., Dunn came to UT in 2013 to start his first year in the School of Architecture.  He will graduate in May 2018 leaving a remarkable legacy in the college.

While at UT, Dunn gathered knowledge and experiences from across the architecture discipline. From interning with the Nashville Civic Design Center to conducting research abroad, Dunn devoted himself to his education.

Remarkably, Dunn has traveled to nearly 20 countries since first receiving his passport in 2016. As a 2017 Aydelott Travel Award recipient, he traveled to Italy, Israel, Indonesia and Japan to study architecture and pilgrimage as it relates to movement through time. This trip sparked his passion for research in European and Asian architecture and its interaction with religion and culture.

Following graduation, Dillon will travel to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, to continue his research as a Fulbright Scholar. “The high expectations of the college and constant loop of production and design critique helped me for the highly iterative process of drafting a compelling Fulbright proposal,” stated Dunn.

“Wisely worded by one of my faculty mentors, the Fulbright will allow me to think with fellow scholars and architects in Indonesia rather than thinking about them,” explained Dunn. “Whether I choose to pursue higher education or architectural licensure, the lessons I learn from living in another culture for 10 months will be transformative and essential to my future endeavors.”

As a graduating student, Dunn’s dedication paid off not only by receiving the Fulbright grant but also through many other awards within the college and university. In particular, he received the honor of Undergraduate Researcher of the Year, as well as three other awards, at the annual Chancellor’s Honors Awards Banquet in April 2018.

Even in the midst of his studies, travel and research, Dunn found ways to have fun with his peers. Dunn stated that one of his favorite memories is from his second year at UT. He and his friends were in the studio late one weekend when there was a power outage. For the students, the Art + Architecture building became a marvelous armature for games such as ‘Watchtower,’ ‘Nerf Wars’ and hide-and-seek.

“A small group of us remained in the building until the early hours of the morning playing these games,” Dunn reflected.  “Since then, we kept an eye out for another total power-outage, though it never happened again. It was a fantastically surreal evening.”

Dunn explains that he owes much of his success to the faculty and mentors at UT. “Put yourself out there! Tap into the rich network of caring faculty and mentors within our college and on UT’s campus,” encouraged Dunn. “Thank you Gregor Kalas, Avigail Sachs, Paul Gellert, Megan Bryson and a host of other wonderful human beings for quite literally introducing me to the rest of the world!”