By Jackie Luskey

The NIRSA Honor Award Committee is excited to announce the selection of Thomas G.

Kirch as the recipient of the 2013 NIRSA Honor Award.

Previously recognized by NIRSA with two National Service Awards and the Region VI Award of Merit, Tom has demonstrated leadership through his extensive volunteer service and involvement in NIRSA, made significant contributions to the profession, exhibited unwavering dedication to the mentorship of students and professionals, and modeled high ethical standards.

For the past 35 years, Tom has been praised and valued as an indispensably humble, caring, and thoughtful colleague and mentor, dedicated educator, and accessible leader. Recently, Tom played a central role in crafting an inclusive process in founding the principles of the new NIRSA governance strategies and organization. Lauded for his ability to translate vision to action, Tom has been noted to be “among a small handful of people in the association who have set the standard for the ethos of NIRSA.”

The impact of his involvement ripples through the entirety of NIRSA. He has served as a State Director; host for state and regional conferences; member of the faculty and Board of the School of Recreational Sports Management; member of the Board for the NIRSA Service Corporation and NIRSA Foundation; and member of the Board of Directors as Vice-President, President-Elect, President and Past-President. Tom has executed numerous presentations and served as member or chair on various committees, including Membership, Finance, Facilities, Aquatics, Standards, Honor Award, Nominations & Elections, Student Development, Governance, and the Governance Transition Team. Moreover, he was instrumental in leading a campaign for developing alternative social events at the NIRSA Annual Conferences, including the inaugural community service project during the 2011 NIRSA Annual Conference in New Orleans. He is also a respected consultant for program reviews, facility development, and curriculum development.

In addition to his impact on the NIRSA community, Tom is a dedicated community volunteer. His involvement as a co-director for the Regional State Games of Oregon, member of the Corvallis Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, member of the Benton County Natural Areas & Park Board, member of the Board of Directors for the Corvallis Boys and Girls Club, and service to the United Way make him an invaluable asset to collegiate recreation and beyond.

Outside of his work and service, Tom enjoys music; after a stint with a band in college, Tom now sings at family weddings and funerals. He also enjoys performing and writing comedy, traveling, playing golf, and reading about historical national and world leaders. Above all, Tom is dedicated to his family and looks forward to celebrating his new role as grandfather!

Reserve your seat and table location in advance for the Honor Award Banquet

The NIRSA Annual Conference concludes each year by bestowing its most significant recognition, the Honor Award, on a member for their outstanding achievements in the profession and exemplary service to the association. NIRSA invites you to join your colleagues at the Honor Award Banquet to congratulate Tom. Join us for the NIRSA Annual Conference and share in this unique opportunity to recognize his important contributions to the association and the profession.

If you plan to attend the 2013 Honor Award Banquet, follow these simple steps to secure your ticket and table reservation, before you even set foot in Las Vegas.

Look for an Honor Award Banquet reservation link on your registration confirmation receipt, or download it here. Once everyone in your party has registered for Conference (up to ten seats per table), fill out the reservation form with everyone’s name, school, and meal preference by February 15, 2013, and email it to the NIRSA National Center. We will seat you at the best table available and send you a confirmation that includes your unique table number.

Table Reservations

Onsite, you will receive your meal ticket and table number reminder with your pre-registration materials. Keep your meal ticket safe until the Honor Award Banquet.

Table reservations will still be available onsite at the NIRSA Registration Booth; however, the best seats will be allocated to those individuals who reserve their seats in advance.