NIRSA Awards

NIRSA Foundation Leadership Award

The NIRSA Foundation Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group that has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the NIRSA Foundation and its mission.

The first NIRSA Foundation Leadership Award was presented at the 2013 NIRSA Annual Conference to honor those who have demonstrated exceptional contributions of time, talent, and treasure to the NIRSA Foundation and its mission over a sustained period of time. It recognizes a person or group that has provided leadership to the Association through active participation in fulfilling the NIRSA Foundation’s important work of providing support and meaningful opportunities for leaders in collegiate recreation.

Honor an outstanding individual or group who has made a significant difference to the future of our profession and our NIRSA Family by nominating them for the NIRSA Foundation Leadership Award.

Each year award recipients are recognized through a variety of mediums, including press releases, social media, and various digital displays and announcements at conferences throughout the year.

Nominations are due November 16, 2021

Submit a Nomination
Preview Full Nomination Form

The nomination period has ended.

Nominations are currently closed


To be eligible for nomination, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Hold current membership in NIRSA (former members who have retired from the profession retain their eligibility)
  • Provide consistent, long-term financial support for the NIRSA Foundation and its mission as a donor for at least 5 years and/or as a donor with a cumulative giving level of Platinum or higher
    • Note: The membership and donation criteria will be confirmed by NIRSA staff before sending applications to the NIRSA Foundation Leadership Award Committee.
  • Exemplify extraordinary support for the NIRSA Foundation and its mission.
  • Be a member in good standing and exemplify standards of ethical behavior, consistent with the NIRSA Member Code of Ethics

Selection Criteria

NIRSA Foundation Leadership Award recipients exhibit outstanding dedication to the NIRSA Foundation and its mission. Your nomination should address your nominee’s qualifications within as many of the following areas as possible:

  • Exhibits outstanding volunteer service and/or leadership to the NIRSA Foundation
  • Participates regularly in NIRSA Foundation volunteer and/or event opportunities
    • Volunteer activities include but are not limited to serving on a NIRSA Foundation committee and/or fundraising at a state or regional conference, NIRSA Championship Series event, NIRSA school or institute, etc.
    • Event activities include fundraising activities at the Annual Conference: Mark E. Fletcher Fun Run/Walk, Golf Tournament, Quilt Raffle, T-Shirt Sale, Polar Plunge, Corporate Auction, etc.
  • Actively works toward and/or supports one or more of the NIRSA Foundation’s four fields of interest: research, leadership, student officials’ development, and scholarships
  • Exemplifies strong character and specifically embodies one or more of NIRSA’s six strategic values
  • Enhances the visibility, awareness, or impact of the NIRSA Foundation

Additional admirable characteristics that will be considered:

  • NIRSA Foundation Legacy Society member
  • Volunteerism with public or civic organizations
  • Honors and awards

Previous Recipients


Darcy & Bob Bingham

Read more


Tom Dison


Dave Koch


Will Holsberry


Stan Campbell


Loretta Capra


Thomas Kirch


Robert M. Golson, Jr.


Suzette Smith

For More Info

For more information, or for help with the nomination process, please contact NIRSA Director of Philanthropy Kim Holmes.