TIAA Institute, ACE Honor South Texas College and Northeastern University Presidents with 2020 Hesburgh Award for Leadership
June 11, 2020

The TIAA Institute, in partnership with ACE, has announced Shirley Reed, president of South Texas College, and Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University, as the recipients of the 2020 Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education.

The Hesburgh Award recognizes college or university presidents or chancellors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities. The award is named in honor of Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., (1917-2015) past president of the University of Notre Dame and longtime member of the TIAA and CREF Boards of Overseers. A world-renowned educator and humanitarian, Father Hesburgh was a lifelong champion of human rights, the cause of peace, and care of the poor.

“Higher education is at an inflection point as the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered schools across the country, underscoring the need for new technology and a sharpened focus on equity in order to transform the system for future generations of students," said Stephanie Bell-Rose, TIAA senior managing director and head of the TIAA Institute. “It is times like these that require strong leadership, and through their courage and vision Presidents Reed and Aoun are guiding the way as they help the higher education system navigate a path forward."

ACE President Ted Mitchell said that it is “a privilege to join TIAA in honoring two transformative, tireless, and inspirational leaders. In the best tradition of the drive and spirit to make postsecondary education a primary engine of social and economic equity in America exemplified by Rev. Hesburgh, Dr. Aoun and Dr. Reed have each impacted the lives of their students, their institutions, and all of higher education. Now, more than ever, they demonstrate the dedicated and compassionate leadership that is needed on our campuses nationwide."

ACE convenes an independent panel of judges to administer the Hesburgh Award on the TIAA Institute's behalf. The award had been scheduled to be presented March 15 at the ACE2020, ACE's 102nd annual meeting on March 15th, which was canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

To learn more about the Hesburgh Award, visit TIAA Institute's awards page.