ACUI accepting nominations for awards and scholarships

ACUI accepting nominations for awards and scholarships2004-11-0154Association Newsfalse

Each year ACUI presents many awards and scholarships recognizing those union and activities professionals and students who have made outstanding contributions to the profession. These ACUI awards are presented during the Community Builders Awards Ceremony at the annual conference, with the exception of the Butts-Whiting Award, the Association’s most prestigious honor. If you think one of your colleagues or students is deserving of one of these awards, nomination packets are available at All nominations are due by Dec. 5.


The Butts-Whiting Award is the Association’s highest and most prestigious award. It is designed to recognize and honor an outstanding leader who has made significant contributions to the college union and student activities movement and whose accomplishments and career have been a credit to the Association. The award does more than honor an individual. It spotlights the Association’s accomplishments, thereby increasing the pride of the staffs and students who work with college unions and student activities on their campuses. It presents to college communities around the world tangible evidence of the effectiveness of the college union’s programs.


Honorary membership is conferred by the Board of Trustees on those individuals who have given exceptional service to the Association. This distinction normally is reserved for college union and student activities professionals upon their retirement from the field. On appropriate occasions, it may be awarded to nonunion personnel whose efforts have served to enhance the Association and the college union ideal, or to a professional who has rendered exceptional service but has left the field in pursuit of another career.


Established in 1994, the Emeritus Award recognizes those college union and student activities professionals who are retiring. Nominees must have worked at least 10 years in the college union and student activities field and must be retiring during the next year.


Revis A. Cox, the late director of student activities at Virginia Commonwealth University, was an extremely active member of ACUI. He served as a member of the regional conference and steering committees as well as a presenter at the regional and international levels. His most important contribution was his work with the Committee on Multi-Ethnic Programs (COMP), formerly the Committee on Minority Programs. Cox was instrumental in coordinating and chairing the “For People of Color: Strategies for Success” summer seminars as well as other COMP-sponsored programs.
This award was established as a lasting tribute to Cox and his contributions, commitment, creativity, and relentless support of multicultural education. Through his leadership, he was able to touch both students and staff, not only on his own campus, but also within ACUI.


Established in July 1985, the Earl Whitfield Regional Newsletter Award was created to promote excellence in regional newsletters and to recognize the volunteers who produce the newsletters. Whitfield was vice president for regional affairs from 1978–1980, and strengthened the Association’s regional structure. The union at California State University–Fresno is named in Whitfield’s memory. A traveling plaque is presented to the winning region with a personalized nameplate for the region’s editor.


The Richard D. Blackburn New Professional Award, established by the Executive Board in 1995, honors the memory of one of ACUI’s most influential leaders for more than three decades. Richard Blackburn served ACUI in numerous leadership positions, including president in 1968–69 and executive director from 1982 to 1991. Throughout his career, which included serving as the director of the unions on three college campuses, he demonstrated continuous commitment to the development of student leaders and new professionals. His support and encouragement of individuals is felt today through the leadership of college union and student activities administrators everywhere who had the privilege of working with him in the early stages of their careers. His influence on, and encouragement of, new professionals is reflected in this award, given annually to an individual who demonstrates the potential for excellence in the field of college union and student activities work.


The Chester A. Berry Scholar Award for Excellence in Writing was named in honor of ACUI’s first executive director and was first awarded in 1982. The award recognizes outstanding writing in the field of college unions and student activities, with emphasis on the theme of the annual conference. Papers are judged on topic, writing, style, consideration of literature, originality, and clarity.


This award honors an individual who best exemplifies outstanding achievement in the field of student activities or college union management at the two-year college level. The recipients must be employed by an ACUI two-year college in student activities or the college union field; be dedicated to the ideals of ACUI two-year colleges; be involved in two-year college issues at the college, regional, or international levels; exemplify standards of professional integrity and conduct; be held in esteem by two-year colleagues and peers; and have provided significant and valuable leadership to the local college union or student activities field and ACUI.


This award honors an individual employed by a four-year college or university who has done the most to further the causes of two-year colleges within ACUI. The recipients must: be employed by an ACUI four-year school in student activities or the college union field; be dedicated to the ideals of ACUI two-year colleges; contribute significantly to furthering the causes and addressing the concerns of two-year colleges within ACUI; have given continued service to ACUI two-year colleges; and be held in esteem by colleagues and peers within ACUI.


The Gretchen Laatsch Scholarship was established by former ACUI President Gretchen Laatsch from the University of Akron and her husband, Jim Switzer. The scholarship is intended to encourage graduate students to submit professional quality articles of interest to the field of college unions and student activities.


The C. Richard Scott Memorial Scholarship Fund, established in 1995, was created through contributions from the family of C. Richard Scott, colleagues and friends who wished for him to be remembered for his dedication and commitment to the development of students as leaders. Scott was the director of operations for the University Student Union at California State University–Northridge and also worked at Boston University, Northeastern University, and Indiana University. His leadership roles in ACUI included serving as Region 15 representative and as conference chair, conference host director for Region 15 and chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns Committee. The scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate or graduate student to be used toward participation in an ACUI sponsored educational activity at the international level.


The purpose of the scholarship fund is to provide professional development opportunities for women and underrepresented staff as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Scholarship funds are available for underrepresented staff to attend the annual conference, seminars and institutes offered by the Association.


The Meg Sutton I-LEAD® Scholarship Fund has been established to support and recognize students who have met significant challenges or obstacles in their education and leadership development. At least one Meg Sutton I-LEAD® Scholarship will be awarded annually. Recipients shall have demonstrated courage, adaptability and persistence in seeking out and taking leadership in their college union or student activities programs.
Challenges may include balancing family responsibilities, physical, social, or financial hardships and/or facing other challenges, such as substance abuse, domestic violence, poverty, or single parenting. To be eligible to receive the scholarship, candidates must be enrolled and in good standing at an ACUI member institution.

Updated Nov. 9, 2012