Pillars of the Profession

Each year at the annual NASPA Conference, the NASPA Foundation recognizes a series of distinguished individuals who have served as leaders, teachers, and scholars in student affairs and higher education. Each individual is nominated and supported for designation as a Pillar by colleagues, students, friends, or others who find him or her deserving of this honor. In the nominee’s name, a gift of $2,500 is made to the Foundation to further research and scholarship in student affairs.

The NASPA Foundation’s Pillar of the Profession Award honors members of the profession who:

  • Are individuals of sustained professional distinction in the higher education field, as defined by donors and supporters
  • Have served in leadership roles in NASPA, either regionally or nationally
  • Are being recognized or remembered by colleagues, friends, students, or student organizations for extraordinary service
  • Significant lifetime contributions to the higher education field
Nomination Process:

Nominations may be submitted by individual NASPA members, family members, students, a NASPA Region, a NASPA member institution, students or a student organization at a NASPA member institution or other individuals associated with the student affairs profession. If selected as a Pillar, the nominator and selected Foundation Board member will raise $2,500 in the name of the nominate. The NASPA Foundation will vote to approve nominations at the annual September Board meeting and inform the nominee of their selection by late October. The Pillar of the Profession class will be formally recognized at the NASPA Annual Conference. If the nomination was not selected, the name will move forward for one year. After this the nominator would need to nominate the individual again. A current resume and up to three letters are required to nominate a Pillar of the Profession. 

Nominations for the 2017 class closed Friday, August 5, 2016.  The 2017 class is shared below.


We are accepting donations in honor of the 2017 class. Please donate online via the on-line donation form or via the downloadable Pillars donation form as these gifts support excellence in the student affairs profession.

John L. Blackburn Distinguished Pillars

The John L. Blackburn Distinguished Pillar Award

This award is presented annually in conjunction with the Pillars of the Profession award. The Foundation Board selects a previous Pillar of the Profession who has continued to grow and strengthen the student affairs field. This is the NASPA Foundation’s highest honor.

Robert H. Shaffer

Previous Faculty and Dean of Students, Indiana University

Dudley (Doug) B. Woodard Jr.

Professor, Higher Education, University of Arizona

View Past Recipients →

Pillars of the Profession Class of 2017

  • Marilyn Amey

    Department Chair of Educational Administration

    Michigan State University

  • Teri Bump

    Vice President for University Relations/ Student Affairs

    American Campus Communities

  • Nancy Crimmin

    Vice President and Chief Academic and Student Affairs Officer

    Becker College

  • Brian Haynes

    Vice President for Student Affairs

    California State University San Bernardino

  • John Hoffman

    Director, Doctor of Educational Leadership Program

    California State University Fullerton

  • Frank Lamas

    Vice President for Student Affairs

    California State University Fresno

  • Harry Le Grande

    Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

    University of California Berkeley

  • Patrick Love

    Vice President for Student Affairs

    New York Institute of Technology

  • Ellen Neufeldt

    Vice President for Student Engagement and Enrollment Services

    Old Dominion University

  • Brett Perozzi

    Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

    Weber State University

  • Judy Sakaki


    Sonoma State University

  • Frank Sanchez


    Rhode Island College