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Alumni Association honors Sun Devil leaders with Homecoming awards


October 26, 2010

The ASU Alumni Association will honor Sun Devil leadership during the halftime program of the ASU-Washington State Homecoming game on Oct. 30. The Alumni Association will recognize a long-time staff leader, the 2009-10 chair of the organization’s board of directors, and the leadership of ASU’s football quarterbacks from the past six decades.

The association will present its Alumni Service Award to Don Dotts ’57 B.A., its former executive director/president. The immediate past chair of the Alumni Association’s board of directors, Bill Kavan ’92 B.A., also will be honored for his service. A special Homecoming Award category, the Sun Devil Spirit Award, will be presented to all Sun Devils who have played in the quarterback position.

Alumni Service Award: Don Dotts ’57 B.A.

Dotts began forging his lifetime connection to Arizona State University as an undergraduate. He was editor of The State Press student newspaper, president of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and president of the Interfraternity Council. He joined the staff of the Alumni Association in 1958 as associate director and editor of the alumni magazine, then known as the Arizona Statesman.  In 1967, Dotts became executive director (a position later re-titled president) of the ASU Alumni Association and served as the organization’s leader for the next 26 years.

As head of the Alumni Association, Dotts oversaw the creation of the Student Alumni Association, the Devils’ Advocates group and the university’s collegiate license plate (“Sparky Plate”) program. After leaving the Alumni Association in 1993, Dotts worked as a fundraising executive with the ASU Foundation, spearheading the campaign to restore Old Main.

In addition to his work for the university and the Foundation, Dotts has given back to the community in volunteer roles that include founder of the Council of Alumni Association Executives, chairman of the Tremble Clefs Parkinson’s choral group and an inaugural member of the Cronkite National Board of Advisors for ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“I am honored to receive the Alumni Service Award.  Many of the things I have done for ASU were a part of my 26-year tenure as alumni director, but I am happy that my involvement after leaving the staff is also being recognized,” said Dotts.  “I have been pleased to work with the Alumni Association as a volunteer on various committees, and I especially have enjoyed working with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as a member of its National Board of Advisors.”

Past Chair’s Award: William (Bill) Kavan ’92 B.A.

During Kavan’s 2009-10 term as chair of the Alumni Association’s board of directors, he made student and young alumni engagement a priority. SAA, the student alumni association, expanded exponentially during his term and the Arizona State Young Alumni program was inaugurated. He also presided over the creation of the Legacy Scholarship program, which provides financial support to students whose relatives are dues-paying members of the Alumni Association. The scholarship disbursed its first funds to recipients this fall.

Kavan also was instrumental in making the 2010 Founders' Day Dinner and Awards ceremony one of the best attended ever. The event broke new ground this year by honoring its first international award recipient, and was enhanced by the addition of a new award category sponsored by the ASU Foundation – the Philanthropist of the Year Award. 

Kavan supported expansion of the association’s chapter, club and connections network during his time as chair. The network added 17 new groups during 2009-10, including the LGBT Devils’ Pride Club, which he co-founded.

"It was a great honor, privilege, and true pleasure to serve as the chair of the ASU Alumni Association Board of Directors and National Alumni Council,” Kavan said.  “I'm humbled to be recognized at Homecoming for my service to the Alumni Association and proud to be in the company of such a distinguished group of honorees this year, especially Don Dotts, who initially recruited me as an alumni volunteer soon after I graduated.”

Sun Devil Spirit Award

The Alumni Association will recognize all former ASU football players who have played quarterback with a special Sun Devil Spirit Award that salutes their leadership and athletic excellence. More than 100 quarterbacks have been identified and invited to come back to the university for Homecoming.

The honorees also will be special guests at the association’s Oct. 29 Legends Luncheon, which will feature an on-stage panel discussion involving five legendary ASU quarterbacks: Andrew Walter, Jake Plummer, Jeff van Raaphorst, Danny White and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John Goodman.

Christine K. Wilkinson, president of the ASU Alumni Association, explained that all the award recipients exemplify fervent support for the university.

“We thank this year’s award honorees for their service to ASU and the leadership they have provided,” Wilkinson says.

“The Sun Devil Spirit Award highlights the pivotal nature of the quarterback position, and we wanted to honor these outstanding athletes and celebrate their contributions to ASU’s football program and to Arizona State on and off the field.”

For more information on all Homecoming-related activities sponsored by the Alumni Association, visit http://alumni.asu.edu/events/homecoming.