Tim Holland of Holland Basham Architects Helps Club MembersMay 27, 2022 01:25PM ● By Tamsen Butler
Photo by Bill Sitzmann
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. Of those celebrating, architect Tim Holland may be among the people most grateful for this organization. The nonprofit is also grateful for him, as he has been a facet of this group since he was 9 years old—first as a student, later as a teen volunteer, and now as the chairperson.
“The club changed my life—and changed my children’s lives,” Holland said, referencing the transformative experience.
Growing up in a working-class family in South Omaha wasn’t necessarily difficult for Holland, but it didn’t lend itself to a future pursuing an advanced college degree and a professional career as an architect.
“College was never part of the equation,” Holland recalled.
Holland admitted he was “fairly successful” in architecture classes in high school, so a two-year community college education in drafting felt like the right path. One of the club leaders had a different idea for Holland’s future and drove him out to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to interest him in enrolling in their College of Architecture.
Scholarships were arranged, and after Holland graduated from UNL, leaders at Boys & Girls Clubs urged him East for his advanced architecture degree. “Here’s a South Omaha boy who had no idea about going to college,” Holland said. “The club led me not only to Lincoln, but to the East Coast at Harvard.”
Upon graduating from Harvard, Holland received a phone call from one of the founding members at the Boys & Girls Clubs back home. “He said there were employment opportunities for both me and my wife back in Omaha,” Holland said. Within three years of returning home, he started his business.
Nowadays, Holland Basham Architects have two offices and are responsible for projects across the country. Holland is also a valued member of the Omaha community and a leader within the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands. “We love Omaha,” he said. “This is our community and our home.”
“I had the opportunity to intern and work for Tim Holland’s architecture firm after my freshman year as an architecture student at UNL in the summer of 2017,” said recent graduate Jonathan Leones. “The Boys & Girls Clubs gave me that opportunity, since Tim is an alumnus of the South Boys & Girls Clubs. As an intern at his firm, I had the pleasure of having Tim as a mentor and I knew that I could go to him with any questions I had regarding architecture.”
Leones continued, “Working as an intern presented me the opportunity to help design the Westside Boys & Girls Club. Having the access to these experiences and direct contact with Tim allowed me to develop a sense of what I wanted to pursue in my future. I’ve learned a lot through Tim’s help and I’ll carry it with me as I continue into my architecture career.”
Though Holland has helped design many local Boys & Girls Clubs locations, and helped facilitate scholarships and other helpful programs, his passion is helping young members who make it to college find their way. Holland told one story of arriving at UNL to begin his studies, unaware that he was supposed to have already secured a dorm room.
“It’s about more than the scholarships,” Holland said. “It’s near and dear to me to help them beyond Boys & Girls Clubs and to get these kids engaged, employed, and helping their community.”
This article originally appeared in the June/July 2022 issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.