The Story of the First Pheasantgiving

In early spring of 1987, a group of architectural “pilgrims,” seeking freedom and adventure, landed on the uncharted shores of the vacant Uranium Division offices of Concord Oil Companies (now the 23rd floor of the Drury Hotel in Downtown San Antonio). Finding ourselves in the midst of economic famine in Texas, we scraped together subsistence projects. By God’s grace, and the joyful arrival of Becky Rathburn on the scene, we survived our first year and celebrated our first Thanksgiving with a feast of LuAnn platters from Luby’s for our small band of survivors.

27 years later…

Since then, we have been blessed year after year with many new Pheasants, great projects and new relationships with natives around the world. We have once again been blessed in 2014 with 15 new Pheasants: Allison, Anna, Brady, Ana, Sydney, Greg, Marta, Nicolas, (and our amazing interns) Lawrence, Sarah, Daniel, Gibran, Michaela, Anne, and Emily.

We’ve also had 26 new projects this year, and have added New Zealand to China, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia as an active new country as we continue to pursue our Mission, “to model how we should live and influence the world through the practice of architecture.”

Pheasants revealed and shared their abundant and wide-ranging talents through endeavors like The Gourd, Olaf (the CANstruction man), the Overland Art Show, mentoring in local schools, Loving Lamar, the toy drive for CHOSA, and many more generous acts of kindness and leadership in our community.

For our sports wing, known by most as “Pheasant Nation,” this has been a rebuilding year for the athletics, but a winner for the fun and fellowship (the softball team is protecting a one-game winning streak going into 2015).

Our work is being recognized with 9 design awards, and our firm with the recent Diversity Award from the Alamo Asian American Chamber of Commerce, highlighting the rich culture we enjoy here.

The Good News bell rang many times in 2014 for marriages­—Kara, Alan, Charles, and John—as well as for Pheasant chicks, with the arrival of Brad’s daughter, Harper; Scott’s son, Davis; Joel’s son, Abram; and Karissa’s son, Benjamin.

Each person here at Overland is a reason for our success, and each deserving of our thanks. This is an amazing community! We are thankful for being Pheasants. And we are thankful for many other things:

  • Health and the fact that I still get to be [at Overland]
  • My healthy son, Benjamin
  • The health of my family
  • The health and support of my family
  • The health and support of my family
  • Getting married this year
  • Health and family
  • Freedom
  • New experiences and learning opportunities
  • Being back in Texas and for new friends
  • My family
  • My San Antonio family
  • A career that has unlimited amount of growth possibilities
  • My family, especially for my mom
  • Healing for myself and my father
  • The chance to come back [from China] to San Antonio, for [Overland’s] support as a family
  • Coming back and for this new chapter in my life
  • A supportive husband and daughter
  • The chance to be here
  • My wife and two kids
  • A sense of hope every time I walk through the door here
  • All of you and for all the hard work you put in here
  • Family and friends who support us every day
  • All the new folks who come here and keep this place interesting and exciting
  • Good friends, new and old
  • All of the learning experiences I’ve been able to take part in here
  • Love, and for the love that we all share with each other and with our families
  • Healthy children
  • The opportunities Overland has given me here this year
  • A wife that puts up with me and loves me
  • My family here and oversees
  • The future [daughter] I have coming
  • My husband to be back in San Antonio after a really long year, for everyone here who is a fantastic family; and for my immediate family to be home together for the first time in a really long time (over Thanksgiving)
  • My friends, my family, and my dogs
  • The holiday season again—I love the weather and everybody together!
  • All the special people that God has placed in my life
  • Working somewhere where I am accepted for who I am but challenged and pushed to be more
  • God’s grace
  • Life, health, and all the Pheasants
  • My family, my health, and the health of my family
  • My husband and for a new beginning in this chapter of our lives
  • Wonderful friendships that are comforting during tough times
  • Regeneration and the hope that all things are being made new
  • Good friends and family, and also for another sunny winter (as opposed to winter in Seattle)
  • The grace and forgiveness that you all and that God offer to me
  • To be in Texas
  • A supportive husband and my two rambunctious children
  • My family and the Heir to the throne
  • Two beautiful daughters and a loving wife
  • My new nephew and for the best commute possible
  • My friends
  • My husband and my dog and this beautiful weather that we should be having in the next couple of weeks
  • A loving supportive family and my sweet five-year-old son
  • This community and my family
  • All of you and the amazing grace that really is a part of Overland’s story




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