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Alumni Association honors faculty, alumni who embody the founders' spirit

The annual ASU Founders' Day ceremony highlights the efforts of game-changing faculty members, distinguished alumni and, for the 1st time, a philanthropic organization

founders day
March 21, 2019

In front of a sold-out crowd of 800 community leaders, business executives and ASU alumni on March 20, the 2019 Founders’ Day celebrated the founding of the institution by honoring ASU alumni, faculty members and a charitable trust for distinguished achievements.

The awards ceremony, hosted by the ASU Alumni Association, has been a signature event for the university for decades and recognizes individuals who exemplify the spirit of the founders of the Territorial Normal School of Arizona, ASU’s predecessor institution. 

For the first time, ASU this year honored an organization as its Founders’ Day Philanthropist of the Year. Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust embodies the core values of its founder and of the New American University. Piper Charitable Trust gifts to the university have included ASU’s Infant Child Research program, with specialized training for teachers of at-risk preschoolers; the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, a vibrant hub for writers; the Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics, which focuses on the prevention and early detection of disease; and the new Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, which will equip communities to overcome social and economic stress.

This year's award recipients:

Faculty Research and Creativity Achievement Award: Natalie Diaz

Faculty Service Achievement Award: Erika Camacho

Faculty Teaching Achievement Award: Ian Gould and Anne Jones

Young Alumni Achievement Award: Sky Kurtz

Alumni Achievement Award: Denise D. Resnik

Philanthropists of the Year Award: Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Read more about each of the winners.

Top photo: Christine Wilkinson addresses the assembled alumni and community members at the 2019 Founders' Day ceremony. Photo by Tim Trumble

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