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ASU 2021 Founders' Day celebrated innovators, entrepreneurs and changemakers


President Michael M. Crow, President and CEO of the Alumni Association Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson, Founders' Day Chair Stephanie Mitrovic, Founders' Day Honorees and Sparky
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March 29, 2021

On Wednesday, March 24, the ASU Alumni Association and President Michael M. Crow recognized the achievements of the university’s faculty, alumni and supporters during the 2021 ASU Founders’ Day celebration. The event was attended virtually by thousands of supporters from around the globe, and friends and family of the honorees were brought in virtually as the background of the studio set to celebrate with them.

Flavio F. Marsiglia, a Regents Professor at the School of Social Work in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, was awarded the Faculty Research Achievement Award. Watch Marsiglia’s Founders’ Day video.

Jeffrey R. Wilson, an ASU professor of statistics and biostatistics with extensive experience in the biomedical, statistics and law, business management and public opinion research industries, was awarded the Faculty Service Achievement Award. Watch Wilson’s Founders’ Day video.

Brian DeMaris, an associate professor and artistic director of music theater and opera at ASU, was awarded the Faculty Teaching Achievement Award. Watch DeMaris’s Founders’ Day video.

More than 350,600 Campaign ASU 2020 donors who raised $2.3 billion to fuel ASU's innovative, world-changing educational model were awarded the Philanthropists of the Year Award. Watch the Campaign ASU 2020 Founders’ Day video.

Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of Hint, Inc., was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award. During Goldin’s acceptance speech she said, “I remember my time fondly at ASU. And as I share with so many people that I have met along the way, but also so many students, I think that the most important thing that I learned at ASU is to just go and try. Just go and do it. And it’s up to you to really set the stage and look at the future and not look at what everybody else is doing. Satisfy your curiosity and take risks. Little did I know that those things would actually add up to being an entrepreneur and doing what I’m doing today. As Steve Jobs used to say, sometimes the dots eventually connect.” Watch Goldin’s Founders’ Day video.

After the awards were given to each honoree, Crow answered questions live from three virtual attendees from Arizona to Dubai and concluded with a question about what’s next for ASU.

“What’s to come for us is really just a greater and more impactful university," Crow said. "There’s huge forces of change all through our society – social forces, cultural forces, political forces, economic forces, technological forces — and one of the things that we know is that we’ve got to find a way to make college and advanced learning available to everybody. Available to anyone, available to families teaching at home, available to people that have been knocked out of work, available to people that weren’t able to finish college, available to people that can’t go to college, available to people that just need a little bit of enhanced learning to be able to do something new so that they can adjust to the next wave of change. Whether it’s a wave related to the pandemic or it’s a wave related to a technological advancement or a wave related to more autonomous technology that’s coming online disrupting the economy. All those things.”

After a year of disruption due to a pandemic, the Alumni Association was still able to bring together thousands of Sun Devils from around the globe to recognize an outstanding group of honorees and continue the annual tradition of celebrating ASU’s Founders’ Day to honor the past, celebrate the present and continue to invent the future.

Watch and share the 2021 Founders’ Day recorded celebration.

Top photo: President Michael M. Crow (center), President and CEO of the Alumni Association Christine K. Wilkinson (second from left), Founders' Day Chair Stephanie Mitrovic (second from right), Founders' Day honorees and Sparky at the March 24 event. Photo by Tim Trumble

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