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Arizona State University Receives ACE/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation

March 09, 2014

ASU President Michael Crow


​ACE announced today that Arizona State University is the first-ever recipient of the ACE/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation.

The new yearly award was presented at ACE’s 96th Annual Meeting and accepted by Arizona State University President Michael M. Crow on behalf of his institution (pictured with ACE President Molly Corbett Broad).

The award was created to recognize institutions that have responded to higher education challenges in innovative and creative ways and achieved dramatic changes in a relatively brief period, and includes a $20,000 prize. ACE invited nominations and applications for the award from any U.S. college or university eligible for ACE membership.

Arizona State responded to an unprecedented transformation of its regional demographic profile and a limited regional higher education infrastructure over the past decade. It initiated a successful effort to expand enrollment capacity, promote diversity, and provide access to world-class research and scholarship to a student body that includes a significant proportion of individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds.

Among the results: an increase in Arizona State’s degree production and student persistence rates, and a growth in both its ethnic and economic diversity. For instance, the number of low-income Arizona freshmen increased 647 percent from academic year 2003 through 2011, and the number of Pell Grant recipients at the institution has grown from 10,344 during the 2002-03 academic year to 26,074 in 2011-12.

“Arizona State University is a prime example of the work our institutions are doing to expand access to higher education and meet the needs of an ever-more diverse student body,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “We appreciate the generous support of Fidelity Investments for this award, which will allow us annually to recognize an institution where this type of dramatic transformation has occurred.”

“After careful review by a veteran panel of esteemed higher education leaders, Arizona State University was selected from a large and strong pool of applicants to win this inaugural award recognizing institutional transformation,” said Joan Wodiska, ACE vice president and chief leadership officer. “This award shines a bright light on the successes in America’s higher education system, the need for ongoing dynamic changes on college campuses, and the next generation of great ideas for our nation and students. The students, faculty and leaders at Arizona State University can be proud of their great accomplishments.”

“For the last 12 years, we have been intent on establishing a ‘New American University’ model at Arizona State University, measured not by who we exclude, but rather by who we include and how they succeed,” Crow said. “So it is gratifying to have our efforts honored by a higher education organization as prestigious as the American Council on Education.”

“Fidelity Investments is honored to partner with the American Council on Education to make this transformation award possible, and we congratulate Arizona State University for being the inaugural winner,” said Rick Mitchell, executive vice president, Tax-Exempt Retirement Services, Fidelity Investments. “Arizona State has shown exceptional leadership and achievement within the higher education community, and deserves the recognition for the work it has done to diversify enrollment and make higher education more accessible to future generations.”

Media Contact: Jon Riskind ▪ 202-939-9453 ▪​

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