Alpha Blackburn, CEO/Founder

The Walter Blackburn Scholarship Fund was founded by David Rose and Jethro Knazze, Jr. in 2004. The Fund was established in memory of Walter Blackburn. Alpha Blackburn was his business and life partner for 42 years until his passing in 2004. The scholarship was established to continue his philanthropic work of supporting our youth and help give them a chance to succeed in life.  In 2019, the scholarship was renamed Walter & Alpha Blackburn Scholarship Fund.

We have found that our dedication to providing scholarships to deserving students, while changing their lives, also changes ours. We hope you share that feeling. We know that in these Blackburn Scholars, and the excellence of their pursuits, we are creating a legacy worthy of our efforts. The stellar list of Walter Blackburn Distinguished Protégés remains an inspiration to all of the Blackburn Scholars, and we thank you for your shining examples of both personal and professional excellence. Your participation over the years has honored us all.

About Walter Blackburn

Walter S. Blackburn was President and CEO of Blackburn Architects. A native of Indianapolis, Walter gained national prominence and left a legacy of significant projects that include:
  • The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH
  • The Purdue Black Cultural Center in Lafayette, IN
  • Malcolm X Institute at Wabash College at Wabash, IN
  • The Arts Garden at Circle Centre Mall in Indianapolis, IN
While he was a prodigious designer and skillful leader, those who met Walter, and especially those who knew him, remember his sincere warmth, his gentlemanly manner and impeccable style.

About Alpha Blackburn

Alpha is the Founding Chair of the Walter Blackburn Scholarship Fund and was the life and business partner of Walter Blackburn. She has guided the Walter Blackburn Scholarship Fund since the beginning. Alpha is an accomplished business woman in her own right. She is the retired President and CEO of Blackburn Architects and is the award-winning designer behind Alpha Designs, LLC. Join us and help continue the vision set out by Walter and Alpha Blackburn in investing in the lives of deserving young people.

About Stephen Talley Book Award

Stephen Talley was a faithful, enthusiastic and hard-working member of the scholarship committee. Like most on the committee, he came voluntarily, to join our efforts, and gave it his all. He had creative vision and poured energy into making every event more special than the last. Ever the thoughtful host, he would frequently prepare a surprise (usually fruit-flavored martinis) for meetings that made for an especially lively exchange of ideas and many memorable gatherings. When, as chairman of the Scholar Selection Committee, the choice for Blackbum Scholar was almost too close to call, he suggested that we institute the book award. We really miss Stephen and his special “Spark” and henceforth we will present The Stephen Talley Book Award in his honor.