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The AGB John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership

Now, more than ever, we need boards that provide effective, thoughtful, and courageous oversight that advance their institutions in ways that truly matter. Nominations for the John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership are now closed.

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges seeks to recognize governing boards that have demonstrated innovation and exemplary leadership by rewarding them with the AGB John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership. Serving at the pinnacle of excellence, these are boards that go above and beyond what boards should do, and instead take board-driven measures to advance their institutions in ways that truly matter.

Recipient boards demonstrate:

  • Exceptional leadership and initiative;
  • Distinct contributions to strengthening governance and trusteeship;
  • Unusual courage in the face of difficult circumstances; or
  • Significant achievement that benefits the institution, system, or foundation.

Governing and coordinating boards—not individual board members—may claim eligibility. Any AGB member college, university, foundation, system, or coordinating board is eligible. The award will be given to up to three public and three private boards.

The recipients will be honored during a special visit to their institutions by AGB’s leadership during their spring board meetings and will receive an elegant keepsake for display. Recipients will receive three free registrations to the National Conference on Trusteeship in April, where they will also be recognized at a plenary session. The good work of the recipient boards will also be highlighted across AGB’s publications, including features in Trusteeship magazine and on

Nominations will be judged by a distinguished panel led by Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee. Judges include current and former public and private institution presidents, board members, and foundation leaders.

The John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership is exclusively sponsored by



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