The NIRSA Annual Conference. The professional development event we look forward to every year. The time when we see friends from across the country we’ve known for years and the time when we make new friends who quickly become part of our squad. The Annual Conference is also when the NIRSA Foundation gets to see the donors it has built tremendous relationships with over the years and introduce new donors to the impact of the NIRSA family.

We invite you to join us in the NIRSA Foundation’s Annual Giving Campaign at the 2018 NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo! This year, our Conference Campaign goal is to raise $81,000, and to engage more than 500 donors in paying it forward. Our goals are big, but we know you’re up to the challenge. Your donation goes to support our profession by providing meaningful opportunities for scholarship, research, and professional development.

In 2018, over 40 students will attend the Annual Conference on a NIRSA Foundation scholarship and 19 professionals received scholarships to attend NIRSA professional development events like the Annual Conference, the Facilities Institute, and the NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation. students received awards to attend the J. Michael Dunn Professional Development Workshop, and ten professionals will be able to attend preconference workshops via the J. Michael Dunn Endowment. Last year, $60,000 was provided for NIRSA research initiatives, including the NIRSA Research Grant Program and the NIRSA Institutional Data Set And in the 2016–2017 season, your donations provided training for 104 up-and-coming student officials at the National Championship Series basketball and flag football tournaments.

At this year’s conference you’ll have the opportunity to make a gift in different ways, including directly from your smart phone via the NIRSA 2018 Guidebook app. You can also stop by the NIRSA Foundation table—check Guidebook or the conference program for times—to make your donation. If you’re not able to attend the conference and would still like to participate in the Annual Giving Campaign, please visit the NIRSA website to make a gift in support of your NIRSA family. Donations toward our Annual Giving Campaign goals can be made via the website beginning February 22 through March 31 and will count toward this year’s campaign. They will be recognized on our giving board at NIRSA 2018.

However you make your contribution, know your gift is tax deductible, you will continue to advance through the Cumulative Giving Levels, and you will be recognized on the NIRSA Foundation Honor Roll. Your gift provides financing for student and professional NIRSA members to attend a variety of professional development opportunities through our scholarship program, supports NIRSA’s research for the campus recreation profession, and provides a grassroots solution to the nationwide shortage of young officials through student officials development training.

Along with traditional annual giving, the NIRSA Foundation has made it even easier to get involved! You can now choose to make a single gift or join the Cornerstone Society by supporting the NIRSA Foundation with a monthly gift.

With gifts of $1,200, $900, $600, $300, or $120 professional members can add their name to our giving board. Students can also add their names to the giving board with a gift of $25 or $50. Your donation will honor professionals of the past, celebrate the professionals of the present, and champion the professionals of the future.

NIRSA Foundation conference activities

The NIRSA Foundation is back again this year with numerous activities for conference attendees!

Enter your program/department T-shirts into the historic NIRSA Foundation T-shirt Competition. Shirts will be accepted at the NIRSA Foundation table on Saturday night, Sunday until the Opening General Session, and on Monday until 1:00pm. Don’t forget to bring two of each entry! We’re also accepting donations of jackets, sweatshirts, golf/polo shirts, and other swag for sale at the NIRSA Foundation Apparel Sale.

On the last day of the conference—Wednesday, March 7—put on your running shoes and blaze a trail bright and early for the Mark Fletcher Fun Run/Walk. Start your last day of conference off on the right foot! This year’s run/walk will begin at 6:00am to allow participants plenty of time to complete the course and prepare to attend the early morning sessions. Check-in will begin at 5:30am. We encourage you to preregister to guarantee a T-shirt and a spot in the run as City of Denver regulations limit the race to 100 participants. Not attending the conference or think 5:30am will come way too soon? Consider participating in the In My Dreams Virtual Run & Sleep-in Fundraiser! Register online for this virtual option to receive four digital, Conference-themed running bibs to sport while you work out from afar.

We would be delighted to talk to you about the NIRSA Foundation, share ways to get involved in our committees and programs, and thank you for making last year a record one. Stop by the NIRSA Foundation table at NIRSA 2018 to learn more about conference activities or speak to a NIRSA Foundation Board member. You can also sneak a peek at this year’s NIRSA Foundation Quilt, which was designed by Mama Lee Wasson, and bid in the quilt online silent auction!

We look forward to seeing you in Denver!


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Philanthropy Kim Holmes.
Associate Director at The University of Texas at Arlington | NIRSA Profile

Chris Muller, Member of the NIRSA Foundation, is currently an Associate Director at The University of Texas at Arlington.