NIRSA colleagues, as you have read in the past several NIRSA Knows, deadlines for submitting nominations for the broad annual recognitions of service to our Association is rapidly approaching. One award nomination is due December 1, eight deadlines are November 15, and three are due November 1, including our NIRSA’s highest recognition, the Honor Award. While today is October 9, those dates listed will be here before you know it. Please do not delay. Human nature is such that there is a perception that three weeks lead time is plenty of time. Human nature also puts off the work, and eventually, no nominations are submitted. Don’t be that person!

Before I focus on the Honor Award, I would like to encourage all NIRSA members to take the time and make the effort to submit nominations and applications for the non-service-based awards on behalf of hardworking, dedicated, and passionate colleagues who contribute their time and talents in advancing our profession and our association. We can never recognize colleagues too much. Both students and professionals on your campus, in your state or region, and on a national basis are doing great things. They cannot be recognized unless they are nominated. In the words of Nike: Just Do It!

As stated on the NIRSA website, “The NIRSA Honor Award is the highest award given by the Association. It recognizes a member for outstanding achievements in the profession and exemplary service to the Association. This prestigious award is presented each year during the NIRSA Annual Conference at the Honor Award Banquet—a memorable evening devoted to celebrating the recipient’s many contributions to the field of collegiate recreation.”

Certainly, if you are reading this article, you have a NIRSA member in your life who has served and impacted our association. Take the time to submit a nomination. I’ll be honest with you, this nomination takes considerably more time and effort to craft statements in a meaningful, impactful way. Isn’t it worth that time and effort to nominate a dear colleague who has provided years of service? Moreover, please do not assume that your mentor/colleague has already been nominated. Nomination letters stay active for five years, and there are several colleagues who have been nominated; however, there are many other colleagues who have not been nominated.

On behalf of the Honor Award Committee, I encourage and expect members to contribute letters of support. On the NIRSA website is complete information about the writing process and a guide and tips to format and content. We challenge the NIRSA membership to make our task in selecting a member who is most deserving to be the 2019 Honor Award recipient as difficult as possible.

As Chair of this year’s committee, I am available to answer any questions or provide observations and thoughts as you consider submitting a nomination. Any member may submit a nomination letter. You do not need to be invited to do so by a colleague who might be coordinating an effort on behalf of a specific person. Please consider this article an invitation to write a nomination.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this article and be proactive prior to November 1. The Honor Award Committee looks forward to hearing from you!


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Leadership Programs Coordinator Lani Beavers.

Greg Jordan, CRSS is currently Director of Recreation and Well-being at Oakland University. He is a NIRSA Past President, recipient of the NIRSA Honor Award (2017), and is the current chair of the NIRSA Honor Award Committee. Greg can be reached at