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Mother-daughter alums create design legacy

Published February 18, 2021

When Julie Schulte graduated from FSU in 1980 from the Department of Interior Design, she never could have imagined that she would watch her daughter Kendall graduate from the same program (now the Department of Interior Architecture & Design) exactly three decades later and go on to work alongside her.

Photo courtesy of Jessie Preza Photography, Jacksonville, FL; home designed by Schulte Design

Schulte came to FSU dreaming of becoming an architect, but entering the program was serendipitous for her life.  “I am a firm believer you are placed in positions you are supposed to be in,” said Schulte. “That was my avenue, my journey.”

While she was a student at FSU, Schulte made some of her most important lifelong connections, including meeting her husband David. She was actively involved with in Greek Life and inducted into Torchbearers, an organization that recognizes student leaders. Lasting friends from sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma included Lisa Waxman (Emeritus Professor), with whom she reunited to work with on FSU’s Interior Design Advisory Council. Schulte went on to work in the Jacksonville area, establishing her firm Schulte Design Associates more than 25 years ago. Specializing in residential design, the firm’s projects have received numerous awards from ASID Regional Competitions and been featured in regional and national magazines.

Schulte’s success and career path were galvanizing for her daughter Kendall Schulte Hannon.  “Seeing how much my mom enjoyed her job and how successful she was, I was inspired to pursue Interior Design as a profession too.” Hannon (BS 2010) came to FSU on the heels of her brother Brandon, two years her senior. It was an easy choice, having visited campus for football games throughout her life with her family.

For Hannon, the advanced expectations of student’s work in the program established a standard of sophisticated and detailed work.

They push you to not be satisfied with the first round of designs. The small class sizes, the selectiveness of the program and the individualized attention makes the whole experience, said Hannon.

She stated that her time studying in Florence with IAD’s study abroad program was one of the most influential educational experiences she had while an undergraduate at FSU. It was during Hannon’s years at FSU that the Department of Interior Architecture & Design established its Advisory Council, and Schulte was one of its founding members.

Schulte said that she has stayed involved because she believes it is an exceptional educational program, with some of the best people in the industry teaching there. “I was always so impressed how the professors were always asking professionals – what do our students need, what is the next thing out there?” She added that the members of the department consistently wanted to challenge the industry’s status quo, and were actively pursuing new trends and changes in the industry. “That says a lot about the program,” said Schulte.

Hannon too has been getting involved to help advance the Department. In addition to hiring interns and employees who are graduates from the program, she has participated in alumni gatherings and promoted the Department’s philanthropic needs to fellow alums.

In addition to their continued service, Schulte and Hannon give back financially too.

I really have had, and continue to have, a blessed and amazing career, said Schulte. Truly, the basis for that started in Tallahassee at FSU. I am a firm believer that you give back to your community and that includes your education community. It will give another student an opportunity to get out into the industry. And that’s why I do it.

FSU Department of Interior Architecture & Design is proud to count this powerhouse mother-daughter design team among its alumni. We thank Schulte and Hannon for their continued service, mentorship, and philanthropy.

Photograph by Steven Brookes, Miami, FL. Home is Coastal Contemporary in Ponte Vedra Beach, designed by Schulte Design