The Emeritus Award is presented to professionals for their leadership and dedication to serving students and advancing campus community through their careers in the college union and student activities field. While intended to recognize those retiring from the profession, on appropriate occasions, the ACUI Emeritus Award may be awarded to a professional who has rendered exceptional service to ACUI but has left the college union and student activities field in pursuit of another career.

2020 Recipients

2020 recipients were offered the opportunity to be recognized this year or to defer their recognition until the next association gathering. We are happy to celebrate five recipients of the Emeritus Award at this time.

Jimmie Baker retired from the University of Colorado–Boulder in 2019, after dedicating 32 years with the University Memorial Center at his institution. First discovering the role of the college union while working as a student employee on campus, he advanced in his career through the facilities and operations area, becoming a trusted colleague across campus and ensure that the needs of all community members were met.
Jimmie Baker

Charlie Francis has been a stable leader within the ACUI community, volunteering regionally and with the Education and Research Fund. He has made an incredible impact through roles on seven different campuses, where he has supported student involvement by coupling his optimism and joy with his savvy in operations and management. Francis was humbled to receive this honor, noting that “ACUI has been my professional association for over 36 years and has allowed me to experience many educational and developmental opportunities. It has also allowed me to build a network of close friends and colleagues.” While he has been a mentor to many in college unions through this time, he has recently accepted a new role to lead housing and dining services at University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Charlie Francis

Steve Gnadt recalls his first experiences attending ACUI events as an undergraduate student, getting his first professional job through the ACUIRES Career Center in the late 1970s. Gnadt shared that “ACUI will always hold a special place in my heart. Thanks for the years of professional and personal support.” Consistently being a champion of recreational programs as a volunteer and event host, Gnadt had a career spanning 45 years across four regions, which concluded last year after more than 20 years as the associate director of the Stamp Student Union at the University of Maryland.
Steve Gnadt

Tina Pinocci retired from Rowan University in 2019 after more than 26 years progressing in roles in campus recreation, campus activities, and student centers—concluding her career as an associate vice president. Pinnocci stated, “I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all the professional and support staff who dedicated their time and energy to the team, our mission, and core values. We had quite the ride over the years, and memories I’ll carry with me forever! And, most importantly, to the students who enthusiastically jumped on board, whether as employees, volunteers, or participants, I am eternally thankful for the role you played in shaping my career and life. You have made me one lucky Bosslady!”
Tina Pinocci

Rachel Wussow recently retired after nearly 20 years working in student affairs, most of which was spent building collaborations across campus while working in union and activities departments. Always advocating for the needs of students through programming and campus services, Wussow was also an active volunteer in recent years, working to creatively engage members of Region V. Wussow most recently served as the assistant director of internal support at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.
2020 Awards – Rachel Wussow

Past Recipients

  • 2019: Terry Clayton, Kris Corda, Ronald Dunkel, John Herbst, Paul Knell, Brenda Keagle, MaryAnne Lustgraaf, Frank Marsilli, Otis Mamed, Clarresa Morton, Marilyn Prime, and Paul Zuchowski
  • 2018: Patrick Brown, Randall Hedge, James Hoppa, Ellen Kusano, Thomas Molski, and Jane Rhyner
  • 2017: William Brown, Lynn Cacha, Leslie Davis, Anita Douglas, Deborah Felder, Carol Garcia, Ed Knoll, Bruce Morgan, and Gregory Tatham
  • 2016: Guy Conway, Jim Herrman, Gail Olyha
  • 2015: Lydia Anderson, William Clutter, Marguerite Elliott, Bart Hall, Bruce Hamilton, Jim Schuster, and Tony Trimarco
  • 2014: Donald Castle, Richard Heller, Bruce Jacobs, Karen Mehnert-Meland, Larry Mosher, David Robertson, Thom Simmons, and Robert Yecke
  • 2013: Dan Cornthwaite, Charles Morrell, Gale Swanka, and Margaret Vos
  • 2012: Leland Bennett, Jonathan Curtis, Alan Kirby, Helga Kray, Andy Rhoades, and Thomas Trimble
  • 2011: Jack Connaughton, John Drinkwater, Candy Holt, Karen Jones Thomas, Bruce Michaels, Charles Miller, Barbara Ross, Gloria Schultz, Audrey Schwimmer, and Carol Tuttle
  • 2010: Mary Blair, Mary Covell, Paul Franklin, Brenda Goupee, Larry Huisman, Mary Keller, Deborah Matthews, Terry McGlincy, Wyl Parker, T.J. Petropoulos, William Steil, Kitty Willis, Mary Yates, and Randy Zarn
  • 2009: Allen Bertelsen, Joseph Comeau, William Dee, Rowland Hughes, Larry Markley, and Donnchadh O'hAodha
  • 2008: Louis Camera, David Johnson, Carol Raske, Mary Robinson, and Marc Tuchman
  • 2007: Vicki Fete, Cassandra Gassaway, Kaycee Schilke, and Ed Stansell
  • 2006: Jay Anderson, Earl Cashon, David Hertz, Phyllis Kuhl, J. Ryck Luthi, James Reynolds, T.J. Rutherford, and Tom Shubert
  • 2005: Charles Huber, Harvey McKee, Linda Offman, Thomas Peters, Daryl Swanson, Annie Thornton, and John Wright
  • 2004: Charles Huber, Robert Schneeweiss, Roger Eslinger, Ruben Santos, Fay Sharman, and Jack Smith
  • 2003: Thomas Webb and Timothy Wilmot
  • 2002: Sally Allison-Bland and Helen Welford
  • 2001: Ted Crabb
  • 2000: Colleen Hennessy, Edward Snyder, and Lyle Ward
  • 1999: Shirley Adkins, David Elmore, and Donald Hinde
  • 1998: Donald Carter, Spencer Marston, and Vern Solbach
  • 1997: Robert Brookover, Frank Harris, and Phil Hirsch
  • 1996: Francis Atkinson, Lorna Dawes, Clark Drummond, E. Max Fleetwood, Dallas Garber, Eleanor Kurtz, Richard Naumann, Rodger Pruis, Gail Steinhilber, and Lorraine Wales
  • 1995: William Blain, Harold Closson, Delores Donnelly, John Ellinger, Thomas Levitan, and Maurice Seeman

Criteria and Eligibility

At a minimum, individuals eligible for this award must:

  • Have ten years of employment in the profession at ACUI member institutions; or be a non-union/activities professional who has rendered exceptional service to ACUI, but has left the profession in pursuit of other careers.
  • Be retiring or have retired within a year of nomination.


Submission materials must include the following:

  1. Name, institution, and contact information of the nominee.
  2. Name, institution, and contact information of the nominator.
  3. At least one letter in support of the applicant to receive the award written by individual(s) such as direct supervisors/advisors, peers/colleagues, students, faculty members, etc., addressing:
  • The achievements of the nominee in the profession.
  • The demonstrated commitment of the nominee to the criteria identified for this specific award.
  • A summary of the nominee's background to provide evidence that they meet the criteria identified for this specific award, including information related to professional experience and volunteer service—providing a current resume for the nominee is optional.

Note that only one nomination is necessary for a nominee to be considered, and the identity of the nominator will not be disclosed during the selection process.

The nomination deadline is December 11.

Nominate Now


Nominators will receive electronic notification confirming receipt of materials. This honor is conferred by the Board of Trustees. A physical award will be given to the recipients, who will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual conference and in subsequent publications.