The Legacy Leader Award recognizes individuals who have served as leaders within the college union profession and have worked throughout to advance campus community building. What makes this award unique is that it is a recognition by fellow ACUI members and colleagues of an individual's work in the field, spirit, and character.

By nominating an individual for this award, you agree to fundraise on their behalf. “Champions” will be provided with a toolbox of resources, and a member of the Education and Research Fund Program Team and staff at the ACUI Central Office will be assigned to help you reach your fundraising minimum of $2,500.

Potential recipients should not be notified of the nomination or selection until awards recipients are announced in 2021.

Criteria and Eligibility

  • Minimum of seven years of service to the college union and/or student activities profession
  • Minimum of five years of leadership service to ACUI on a regional and/or international level
  • Active participation in advancing the mission of the Education and Research Fund through the years
  • Recognized by colleagues, friends, or students for extraordinary service to the field
  • Membership in ACUI


Nominations for the Legacy Leader Award will be accepted until October 16. Submission materials must include the following:

  • Name and contact information of the nominator.
  • Name and information about the nominee.
  • A letter of nomination in support of the nominee to receive the award addressing a summary of how the candidate's experience and achievements meet the criteria identified for this specific award.

Nominate Now

2020 Recipients

Tena Bennett, Southern Illinois University–Carbondale

"When I think of a professional colleague who leaves a positive impact on everyone she comes in contact with, dedicated to the advancement of the field, willing to put time and effort into both of those endeavors, and is one of the nicest people I know, there is only one: Tena Bennett."
—Nominators and fundraising champions Ann Comerford and Michael Sprinkle

Tena Bennett
Meg O'Sullivan, SUNY–Downstate Medical Center

"One of the criteria for this award is recognition by peers and colleagues. No one is better known for service to our profession and Association than Meg. She has received many awards regionally and was one of the youngest recipients of the Butts-Whiting Award."
—Nominator and fundraising champion Don Luse

OSullivan, Meg
Kerry Spicer, Daemen College

"I can't think about ACUI without thinking about Kerry. She has a true and unconditional desire to positively impact the Association in whatever way she is able; and she does so without any need for recognition."
—Nominator and fundraising champion Jennifer Grossman Leopard

Spicer, Kerry


The Education and Research Fund Program Team will review all nominations, select the recipients, and notify nominators of the status of their nomination by mid-December. 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.