Skip to main content

Founders’ Day event showcases Challenges Project

February 02, 2009

The ASU Alumni Association’s 2009 Founders’ Day signature event will mix a night honoring the founders of ASU’s predecessor institution in 1885 with a dinner and awards ceremony that will showcase Sun Devils involved in solving the challenges that will shape the world’s future.

The association’s annual Founders’ Day event is slated for Tuesday, March 3, at The Buttes, A Marriott Resort in Tempe. Founders’ Day, first celebrated in 1964, has traditionally honored the actions of those who founded the Territorial Normal School in Tempe in 1885, and recognized faculty, staff, and alums who acted in the spirit of those first supporters of higher education in the region.

This year, however, the synergy between the Founders’ Day event, which typically draws a crowd of 600 or more, and the debut of the Challenges Project at ASU, was inescapable, according to Christine Wilkinson, Alumni Association president.

“We had discussed the possibility of holding a joint event, and at some point it just became obvious that the most appropriate place to begin a university-wide discussion of what challenges will frame ASU’s future efforts would be at Founders’ Day,” she said.

The Challenges Project at ASU is a way to focus attention on the most signtificant challenges Arizona and the world are facing and the ways in which ASU is uniquely positioned to take on these challenges. The project crystallizes hundreds of individual educational and research initiatives into a compelling, cohesive communication of the university’s purpose and value to society.

The honorees at this year’s Founders’ Day event will be alumni and ASU employees who are representative of those who will be involved in the Challenges Project, which is expected to have its official kick-off during Homecoming Week in November.

Readers are invited to nominate faculty, staff or alumni who are making significant contributions to solving the world’s great challenges. To submit a nomination, e-mail the individual’s name and a brief paragraph about his/her accomplishments and how his/her work supports solving the challenges to by Friday, February 6.

Founders’ Day will commence with a reception at 6 p.m., with dinner and awards following at 7 p.m. The cost of the event is $125 for members of the Alumni Association and $150 for non-members.

For more information, or to RSVP, visit