ACE Lifetime Achievement Award


​​​The ACE Lifetime Achievement Award was established by ACE to honor and recognize a college or university president/chancellor (current or emeritus) who throughout their career, has shown an un-wavering commitment to higher education and the greater good of higher education. The award recognizes exceptional leaders who have dedicated their careers to championing the cause for higher education and have been visionary about strategic challenges and opportunities and have seized opportunities to advance higher education.


2023 Winner: Lawrence S. Bacow

Lawrence S. Bacow, president of Harvard University, was honored as the 2023 ACE Lifetime Achievement Award recipient at ACE2023, ACE’s Annual Meeting. The award was presented during the Afternoon Plenary Featuring the Robert H. Atwell Lecture, named by the ACE Board of Directors for ACE’s former president from 1984 to 1996. Bacow delivered this year’s Atwell Lecture. The Afternoon Plenary also included a dialogue between Ted Mitchell, president of ACE, and Miguel A. Cardona, U.S. secretary of education, with answers to previously selected questions from conference attendees.

This session was sponsored by Fidelity Investments.


​P​ast Winners

ACE has been bestowing the Lifetime Achievement Award since 2012, when Ruth J. Simmons, president of Brown University, became the first recipient.

2020: Janet Napolitano, president, University of California (UC)

2018: Freeman Hrabowski, president, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

2016: Brice Harris, chancellor, California Community Colleges

2015: Norm Francis, president, Xavier University of Louisiana

2014: Mary Sue Coleman, president, University of Michigan

2013: Juliet V. Garcia, president, University of Texas at Brownsville

2012: Ruth J. Simmons, president, Brown University


This award is not open for public submission. Please contact with any questions.