March 21, 2011 — University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala received the NASPA President’s Award during the opening session of the 2011 NASPA Annual Conference on March 13. President Shalala was the opening keynote speaker for the conference, facilitating a panel of students and young alumni who embody through their service the conference theme, Educating for Lives of Purpose.
The NASPA President’s Award is given to a college or university president who has, over a sustained period of time, advanced the quality of student life on campus by supporting student affairs staff and programs.
“President Shalala fosters an environment of academic excellence, professional development, and civic engagement through mobilizing and identifying students’ interests. Her exceptional leadership is evident through the amazing team of faculty and administrators who encourage, support, and educate outstanding young scholars daily,” UM Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia A. Whitely wrote in a letter nominating Shalala for the award.
Prior to joining UM in 2001, Shalala held tenured professorships at Columbia University, The City University of New York (CUNY), and the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She also served as president of Hunter College at CUNY and chancellor of UW-Madison. In 1993, President Clinton appointed her U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), a position in which she served for eight years, becoming the longest-serving HHS Secretary in U.S. history.
President Shalala has more than four-dozen honorary degrees and a host of other honors. In June 2008, President Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. She has been elected to the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Academy of Education, the National Academy of Public Administration, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and other organizations.
“It was an honor to present President Shalala with this well-deserved award for her long-term commitment to higher education and this nation,” said Gwendolyn Jordan Dungy, NASPA executive director.
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