The concept of such an organization began in several places simultaneously. In 1976, JoAnna Henegar, a Designer for Physical Facilities at Indiana University, wanted to initiate contact with other in-house designers, but not limited to Universities. At the same time, Zetta Anderson, also a Designer at Indiana University , but working in the Halls of Residence, was contacting Designers at other Big 10 Conference Universities for the same reasons. To expedite the process, both Designers contacted manufacturer’s representatives to spread the word about the formation of such a design organization. JoAnna and Zetta were put in contact with Joy Adcock of Michigan State University and Virginia Denham of the University of Michigan . These two Designers also recognized the need for networking among such in-house design professionals and acknowledged the desire not to open membership to manufacturer’s reps or other trade persons.
After several meetings and discussions, the focus of the organization shifted to include only those in-house Designers at Colleges and Universities. At a meeting during Neocon 11 in Chicago, the Association of University Interior Designers was established with the following people present: JoAnna Henegar and Zetta Anderson of Indiana University, Joy Adcock of Michigan State University, Virginia Denham of the University of Michigan, Kent Brigham of Western Michigan University and Lola VanWyck of Iowa State University.
The meeting was held at the M&M Club in the Merchandise Mart and was called to order by Virginia Denham. The first slate of officers were elected and consisted of: President, JoAnna Henegar; Vice President, Virginia Denham; Secretary, Zetta Anderson and Treasurer, Kent Brigham. Meetings were held three times yearly. Member institutions hosted the February and October meetings and the June meetings were held at Neocon.