Honorary membership is conferred by the Board of Trustees on those individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to ACUI. Honorary members are granted all rights and privileges as defined by the ACUI Constitution, with the added privilege that their annual dues will be waived and that their annual conference registration fee will be reduced.

Normally reserved for those retiring from the profession, on appropriate occasions, it may be awarded to non-union personnel whose efforts have served to enhance the Association and the college union idea, or to a professional who has rendered exceptional service but has left the profession in pursuit of other careers.


2021 Recipients

Mike Coleman began his 20-year career in higher education at Florida State University as an academic advisor before moving to the Oglesby Union, where his path would take him further into the college union and student activities fields. Now serving as the dean of student engagement and impact at Wake Technical Community College, Coleman credits ACUI with providing a foundational value of community building.  

Coleman’s nearly two decades of ACUI involvement spans regional and annual conference program teams, leadership of communities of practice, the 100th Anniversary Celebration Task Force, and most recently as an at-large member of the Board of Trustees, then as ACUI’s 91st president.  

“Whether it is working with students, faculty, or our community partners, I know that community building is what impacts higher education - whether it is through the gaining of perspective or the opportunity for innovation.” 

Following nearly 30 years in the field, Mandy Ellertson retired from Portland Community College in September 2019. In that time, Ellertson lead and served on countless Regional and Annual Conference Program Teams and Regional Leadership Teams. Ellertson shared: 

“The main gem of my ACUI experience was the friendships. I can say that I have friends all over the country who have welcomed me into their homes. Dialogue and engaging conversations is the true diamond of ACUI and my experience here.”

Chuck Price retired from the University of Nevada–Reno after a career spanning four decades in student affairs, auxiliaries, student activities, and student unions. For the better part of the past 10 years, Price has served on the Corporate Partnerships Development Team, shaping how ACUI’s associate members engage with ACUI. Price reflected: 

“When I reflect on an award like this, I realize it is not just about one person who received the award, it is also about a team of people who worked together for success. I have a list of 117 close ACUI friends whom I have worked with throughout my 40+ years in the Association. They helped me, not just on ACUI projects but also in my career and my life challenges.”

After 39 years working at SUNY–Downstate Medical Center and volunteering for ACUI, Meg O’Sullivan retired in 2020. O’Sullivan spent a career engaging with ACUI at all levels, starting with regional involvement, serving on the 75th Anniversary Committee, serving as ACUI president, and being awarded the Butts-Whiting Award in 2004. O’Sullivan reflected on her experience: 

“Volunteer for ACUI. It is a tremendous gift to give yourself and you will have no regrets. You will have fun and you will meet people that will be part of your life forever.”

Past Recipients

Dan Adams
Patrick Bailey
Gary Bartlett
Ernest Bebb
Boris Bell
Joseph Benedict
Colette Berge
Fay Blackburn
William Blain
Martha Blood
Michael Bowen
Jay Boyar
William Brattain
Ruth Burnham
Matthew Carey
Jan Carlson
Jim Carruthers
Joseph Cavalla
Christine Chergi
Frank Cianciola
Ann Claussen
Patrice Coleman-Boatwright
Archie Copeland
John Corker
Christopher Cottle
Kaye Cross
Manuel Cunard
Nancy Davis Metz
J. Scott Derrick
William Edwards
Linda Eldred

Wendell Ellenwood
Earl Finder
Michael Georgeson
Neil Gerard
Joe Gutowski
Sally Hammock
Sarah-Ann Harnick
Kim Harrington
Michael Henthorne
Marsha Herman-Betzen
Ted Hoef
Audrey Hozack
J. William Johnston
Bruce Kaiser
Thomas Keys
Jean Kistler Kendall
Tami Kuhn
Gretchen Laatsch
Floyd Land
Thomas Lile
Ronald Loomis
Donald Luse
Jerry Mann
Susan Yung Maul
Dale McHenry
Robert Mindrum
Peter Neville
Jack Overman
Susan Payment
Bernard Pitts
Shirley Plakidas
Michael Poe

George Preisinger
Carol Prior Heller
Charles Rausch
Timothy Reed
Bob Rodda
Carolyn Rion
Monika Rodie
Donald Rohel
Robert Rouzer
Thomas Rufer
Loren Rullman
Holly Sateia
Kim Savage
Robert Schneeweiss
Judi Schwartz
Paul Sherbakoff
Winston Shindell
Edward Slazinik
Curtis Smout
William Smriga
Bill Spelman
Elizabeth Jane Stachowiak
LeNorman Strong
Marvin Swenson
Gordon Teigen
Nancy Turner
Billy Joe Varney
Gerri Walters
Warren Wiese
Cynthia Woolbright
F. James Zwickey

Criteria and Eligibility

At a minimum, individuals eligible for this award must:

  • Have 15 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.
  • Have ten years of exceptional service to ACUI, with at least five years of service at the Association level.
  • Have nomination letter(s) support submitted describing instances of how the individual has given exceptional service to the Association and demonstrating how the exceptional service has made an impact.


    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 period for this award will open in October 2021.


    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.