ACE today awarded Stanley “Staś” Preczewski, president of Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Georgia, with the ACE Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award at ACE2019, ACE’s 101st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
The Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award is bestowed annually to acknowledge the substantial role of mentors in the success of ACE Fellows Program participants.
“Intentional, committed, forward-thinking, gracious—these are just a few of the characteristics that come to mind when I think of my friend Staś,” said ACE Assistant Vice President Sherri Lind Hughes. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this year’s Mentor Award.”
Since its inception in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program has strengthened institutions and leadership in American postsecondary education by identifying and preparing over 2,000 faculty and administrators for senior positions in higher education leadership. More than 80 percent of Fellows have gone on to serve as chief executive officers of colleges or universities, provosts, vice presidents, and deans.
While president of Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC), Preczewski mentored four ACE Fellows, and he further nominated and mentored three Fellows at other host institutions. Additionally, he hired two ACE Fellows during his time at GGC. He served his own ACE Fellowship in 2003-04 at Wake Forest University (NC).
“Fidelity Investments is proud to once again support the Council of Fellows Mentor Award,” said Debra Frey, senior vice president, analytics & marketing, Fidelity Investments. “Staś not only exhibits the elements of a good leader, but he also inspires those characteristics in others, creating a diverse pipeline of competent leaders.”
Since 2008, Fidelity Investments has been a generous supporter of the ACE Fellows Program, enabling the Council of Fellows to provide support for the discretionary fund of the Mentor Award winner's institution as well as the Fellows Fund for the Future, which provides stipends to defray costs of sponsoring a Fellow for qualified institutions.*
Denise Battles, Council of Fellows chair and president of SUNY Geneseo, hands the Mentor Award to Staś Preczewski, while Debra Frey, senior vice president, analytics & marketing, Fidelity Investments, and Sherri Lind Hughes, assistant vice president, ACE Leadership, look on. Photo: Tim Trumble for ACE.
A Lifelong Commitment to Mentorship
Before retiring from the U.S. Army in 2006 as a colonel, Preczewski commanded two artillery units with the 1st and 2nd Infantry Divisions. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, and Airborne (paratrooper) and Air Assault wings.
In 2006, he became inaugural vice president for academic and student affairs at GGC, the same year the four-year public college was founded. During his six-year tenure as vice president, Preczewski grew the student population from zero to more than 9,700; opened the college’s six academic schools; changed GGC from a commuter to residential institution; and hired more than 700 faculty and staff members.
After serving as GGC vice president, Preczewski served one year as interim president of Georgia College and State University. He then returned to GGC as president from 2014-2018, overseeing the growth of the University System of Georgia’s youngest institution to an enrollment of more than 12,500.
This past fall, Preczewski announced his retirement. But when the opportunity at Riverside Military Academy (RMA) presented itself, he made the decision to postpone his retirement a while longer. He previously served on RMA's Board of Trustees and has long-running ties with the school. When asked about his rationale for stepping into the presidency at RMA, he said, "It's an opportunity for me to lead a team to enhance, improve, and bring innovations to a well-established Academy with a rich history."
Founded in 1907, RMA is an all-boys school serving more than 500 cadets in grades 7-12. The school incorporates military structure, academic, and athletic programs with leadership and character development as part of its educational experience.
*ACE and Fidelity Investments® are independent entities and are not legally affiliated. The recipients of the Council of Fellows/Fidelity Investments Mentor Award are selected solely by the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows. Fidelity employees are not involved, in any way, in determining, selecting, or approving the recipient or amount of any award. The selection criteria and guidelines for the award may be obtained directly from ACE.
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