Matthew Boomhower (’97)

Category: Accomplished Alumni | Awards

At the May 1, 2019, meeting of the San Diego UT Knoxville Alumni Chapter, Matthew Boomhower (’97) was surprised when he was presented with UT’s Accomplished Alumni Award. Boomhower’s wife, Stephanie (’97, ’99), a chapter board member, had helped keep the award a surprise.

Matthew, who was recently named to the San Diego Planning Commission, graduated from UT with a degree in architecture, and after 15 years in the construction industry, he earned his JD from California Western School of Law.

Today he leads an unusual triple career life: He is the founder and president of Southern Cross Property Consultants, a construction-management firm. He maintains a law practice, Boomhower Law, in which he focuses on land-use and construction law and serves as outside counsel to a number of small businesses. And he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on professional practice, contracts, and codes at the Woodbury University School of Architecture’s San Diego campus.

In addition, Boomhower serves on the San Diego Zoological Society Foundation’s Charitable Real Estate Committee and as a vice chair of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Infrastructure, Housing, and Land Use Committee.

“Architects make transformational impacts on society through design,” says Scott Poole, dean of the UT College of Architecture + Design. “Matthew Boomhower is a consummate professional who uses the power of design to make the world a better place, and we’re honored that he represents the University of Tennessee.”

Stephanie, the director of career services at the University of California at San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, has been instrumental over the past 10 years in starting the San Diego UT Knoxville Alumni Chapter and making it one of the most active in the nation. “When we moved to San Diego in the fall of 1999,” says Stephanie, “we went looking for a place to watch a UT football game and found people in Moondoggies sports bar dressed in orange.”

Along with their work with the chapter, the Boomhowers have made significant financial contributions to the College of Architecture + Design through an endowed scholarship and a planned estate gift in their wills. “UT was good to both of us,” says Stephanie, “so we are tuned in to the idea of giving back.” So far, four students have received financial support from the endowed scholarship.

“I paid my own way through school,” says Matthew, who came to UT from Steubenville, Ohio. “There were times when I needed help from different sources, so we are happy to share our success and support other people who are coming up behind.”