Presidential Award for Distinguished Service

Established in 1988, the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service is presented at the discretion of the ACUI President to honor an individual who has demonstrated exceptional and unique service in fulfilling the mission, goals, and values of the Association. This award may be given out to more than one individual in a year, but that should be a unique circumstance.

Eligibility and Criteria

  • In considering eligible candidates, a President may take into account the volunteer contributions of an individual or individuals that occurred during their tenure as President-Elect and/or President of the Association.
  • The President has the option, if they choose, to not present the award during their term of office.
  • An individual is not required to hold a stated volunteer position, either regionally or at the Association level, to be considered for this award.

Selection Process

  • The process for selecting an awardee is at the discretion of the President, who is encouraged to seek input from the Executive Committee, but not required to.
  • If the President chooses not to give the award, they must notify the Executive Committee of this decision by January 31.
  • If choosing to present the award, the President shall make a selection by January 31 and notify the Executive Committee that the award will be presented and to whom the award is being given.
  • The recipient(s) will be recognized at the ACUI annual conference, during an appropriate session or ceremony.

Previous RecipientsPatrick Connelly Mark Guthier

  • 2016: Patrick Connelly, Landmark College, who wrote an advancement plan for the Association, ensured that all existing awards were endowed, and asked many members to give to the ACUI Education and Research Fund. Mark Guthier, University of Wisconsin–Madison, who took care of the election process as past president and chaired the search committee for the new CEO of the Association and planned multiple retirement events for Marsha Herman-Betzen, the previous executive director. 
  • 2015: Ben Williams, Miami University, was recognized for his unique contributions as a student member—volunteering on the Region VI Leadership Team, serving on the CEO Screening Committee, and developing the Knot Club program to engage students and I-LEAD® alumni in giving as a member of the ACUI Education and Research Fund Program Team.
  • 2014: Brenda Evans, University of Massachusetts–Lowell, and Jeremy Schenk, Virginia Commonwealth University, were recognized for their leadership in restructuring ACUI’s regions, serving as co-chairs of the Regional Audit Task Force and of the Regional Restructuring Task Force. Cynthia Woolbright of the Woolbright Group was recognized for her decades of service and ongoing advisory role to a variety of Association initiatives. 
  • 2001: Caryl Stern-LaRosa was recognized for her partnership on diversity training and anti-bias initiatives as the chief operating officer of the Anti-Defamation League.
  • 2000: Bill Hellams, president of Video Producers, was recognized for his work to produce six ACUI videotapes, including “The Role of the College Union,” “Training Trainers in Multiculturalism,” and the award-winning “Where People Care.”
  • 1999: Peter DeLisle was recognized for serving as a facilitator of “The College Union of the 21st Century” seminar.
  • 1996: Eric Conn, American Honda, was recognized for his partnership efforts with ACUI on the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge.
  • 1994: Gail Anderson Cywinski, Normandale Community College, was recognized for her “unselfish spirit of volunteerism” and her “understanding of what our profession and our association are about.” Pat Moonen, University of Arizona, was recognized posthumously "for her work, her spirit, and her everlasting example of a celebration of life," have served as College Bowl chair, regional representative, and 1993 Conference Program Committee member.
  • 1992: Elizabeth Wright, Tuskegee University, was recognized for her nearly 30 years of service to the College Union Idea and to her lifelong dedication to students.
  • 1991: Michael Freeman, University College London Students’ Union, was recognized for his work in promoting the Association in Great Britain.
  • 1989: Jerry Mock, University of Wisconsin–Madison, was recognized for 23 years of service, particularly in work with ACUI’s recreation programs.
  • 1988: Meg O’Sullivan, SUNY Health-Science Center at Brooklyn, was recognized for her outstanding performance as ACUI’s Volunteer Coordinator.

All inquiries related to the presentation and selection of this award should be directed to the current ACUI President.

Updated Aug. 29, 2016