The Cornerstone Building Foundation was founded in 1994 by Robert Hershberger, FAIA, then Dean of the College of Architecture at the University of Arizona. Dean Hershberger asked that the American Institute of Architects Southern Arizona Chapter join with the Arizona Builders' Alliance Southern Division to form a 501(c)(6) nonprofit group whose purpose would be simple and straightforward:
To honor the best in project delivery through an annual awards program that recognized all members of the building community in the format of a "dream team".
To bring architects and contractors and later, engineers, women in construction, specification writers, A/E firm administrators, and A/E firm marketing individuals together in a regular forum to allow for the exchange of ideas in a free flowing environments in order to develop stronger working relationships.
To provide a forum for educational opportunities that would meet the needs of all member associations.
To raise money for scholarships and other worthy projects at the University of Arizona, Pima Community College, TUSD, and other educational institutions and a variety of other programs related to the design and construction industry.
The Foundation expanded its membership in 1999 to include the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arizona and the National Association of Women in Construction.
In 2000, the Construction Specifications Institute was added and in 2006, the Society of Design Administration joined the foundation.
In 2008, the Southern Arizona Architects & Engineers Marketing Association became the newest member of the Foundation.
Today, its Board of Directors is comprised of two representatives from each of these groups and three representatives from both AIA and ABA, as well as a member from Southwest Gas Corporation and Hensel Phelps, its two major corporate sponsors. The Board meets quarterly and directs activities of the Foundation. Brent L. Davis is the current Executive Director of the Foundation.