Who is Albert E. Phillips?

The Albert E. Phillips Scholarship honors Al Phillips, a founding member of COAA who served as general counsel for the organization for 13 years.  Albert E. Phillips is of counsel in the Atlanta law firm of Cohen Pollock Merlin & Small.  

Mr. Phillips’ practice is entirely related to construction matters, with particular emphasis on representing owners of construction projects.  Mr. Phillips has represented a broad variety of clients in his field, including state, city, and county governments; state universities; airport authorities; hospitals; national and multi-national corporations, including hotel and retail chains; airlines; public utilities; private developers; architects; engineers; contractors; and surety companies.   

Eligible students are invited to compete for scholarships ($1,500 each) and be recognized as one of the rising stars in the design and construction industry.

Albert E. Phillips Scholarship

COAA was founded in 1994 with a mission to help Construction Project Owners succeed in the design and construction process.  COAA acknowledges that education is a critical element to the success of those pursuing a career in our industry.  As such, COAA is proud to offer up to two (2) Albert E. Phillips Scholarships annually to college students interested in pursuing a career in the design and construction industry.  

Scholarship winner(s) are announced at COAA's Spring Owners Leadership Conference, held annually in May.  Recipients that elect to attend the Conference receive a complimentary conference registration, hotel accommodations and airfare to and from the event.  


Eligible Students must be either:
  1. a relative of an employee of a COAA Member
  2. an employee of a COAA Member Organization, or
  3. a full-time student at a COAA Member Organization of higher education
The COAA scholarships are intended for full-time undergraduate students who have successfully completed their freshman year.  Applicants should have a minimum 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.  A current copy of the student transcript is required.

How to Apply

Students must submit:
  1. Scholarship Application (download application on the left)
  2. Essay of 1,000 words or less on one of the following topics:
    • What attracted you to construction and what are your career plans in the industry?
    • What do you find to be the most critical issue facing the construction industry and why?
A complete application includes two letters of recommendation.  Our preference is for one of the recommendation letters to come from a COAA Member who knows you and your work well.  If a COAA member is unavailable, professors, teaching assistants, and internship supervisors are acceptable.  Select a person to prepare the recommendation who knows you well rather than one whom you think will impress us.  Ideally, the letters will provide comparative comments that distinguish you from your peers.


Applications due by March 1.