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News and Policy

AGB Awards Exemplary Board Service

Feb 1, 2016

Washington, D.C. – The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) announces the selection of six institutions to receive the John W. Nason Award for Board Service, a new award given in recognition of innovation and exemplary leadership demonstrated by college and university governing boards that advanced their institutions in ways that truly matter.

The selected boards showed exceptional leadership and initiative; distinct contributions to strengthening governance and trusteeship; unusual courage in the face of difficult circumstances; and significant achievement that benefited their institution, system, or foundation.

“The boards that received this prestigious award demonstrated, quietly but emphatically, that good governance matters and that boards are holding themselves accountable to do this difficult but important work,” said AGB President Richard D. Legon. “Through the excellent work of their boards, these institutions continue to serve students and the larger community in a way that advances the cause of higher education.”

The award is named after John W. Nason, a philosophy professor who became president of Carleton College, Swarthmore College, and the Foreign Policy Association. One of his proudest achievements among a lifetime of many was serving as chair of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, helping more than 4,000 interned students continue their studies at higher education institutions across the nation during World War II. He later served as director of studies for AGB’s Commission on the Future of College and University Trusteeship.

All AGB member institutions were eligible for the award, and six were chosen:  three private, two public, and one public institutionally related foundation from among 46 applicants. A panel of judges led by former Tennessee Governor Philip Bredesen convened in December and selected the following: 

Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Maricopa County Community College District in Tempe, Arizona
Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado
Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota
Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia
University of North Georgia Foundation in Dahlonega, Georgia

All six institutions will be honored on the AGB website; at the opening plenary of the National Conference on Trusteeship in April in Washington, D.C. (; in the March/April edition of Trusteeship magazine; and with an on-site presentation of an AGB-commissioned award at their spring board meetings. The site visits will be conducted by AGB President Richard D. Legon, AGB Executive Vice President and COO Susan Whealler Johnston, or a member of the judging panel.

Since 1921, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) has had one mission: to strengthen and protect this country’s unique form of institutional governance through its research, services, and advocacy. Serving more than 1,300 member boards, 1,900 institutions, and 40,000 individuals, AGB is the only national organization providing university and college presidents, board chairs, trustees, and board professionals of both public and private institutions and institutionally related foundations with resources that enhance their effectiveness.



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