CIC Presidents Present 2021 Awards during Annual Conference

1/14/2021 — Washington, DC

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​The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) announced the recipients of its 2021 awards during the 51st annual, and first-ever virtual, Presidents Institute.

CIC honored Earl Lewis with the 2021 Allen P. Splete Award for Outstanding Service; Henry B. Tippie and Patricia Bush Tippie with the 2021 Award for Philanthropy (Individual), and The Duke Endowment with the 2021 Award for Philanthropy (Organization). View further information and videos of the award presentations.

CIC President Richard Ekman presented the Allen P. Splete Award for Outstanding Service to Earl Lewis in recognition of his extraordinary efforts to address critical questions for American society, including the role of race in American history; diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education; and the essential value of scholarship in the humanities. The award is named after Allen P. Splete, president of CIC from 1986 to 2000. The award recognizes an individual’s or organization’s significant achievements on behalf of independent higher education.

In presenting the award, Ekman said, “Through Earl Lewis’s years as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as dean of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan, and as provost of Emory University, he has demonstrated the core values of intellectual honesty, personal integrity, understanding of the central role of teaching, and the transformational value of education that takes place both in and beyond the classroom.” In addition, Ekman said, Lewis has “championed the importance of diversifying the academy, enhancing graduate education, re-visioning the liberal arts, exploring the role of digital tools for learning, and connecting universities to their communities.”

Lewis is president emeritus of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, where he served from 2013 to 2018. He currently serves as Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies, and Public Policy and director of the Center for Social Solutions at University of Michigan. An author and social historian, he is past president of the Organization of American Historians and was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008. Lewis previously served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. He earlier held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of California, Berkeley. He serves as chair of the board of regents of his alma mater Concordia College (MN), is a trustee of ETS, and is a director of 2U and the Capital Group, American Funds.

The two philanthropy awards were presented by John Marsden, president of Midway University in Kentucky. Hilary Link, president of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, moderated a discussion with the Tippies and Susan McConnell, director of the Duke Endowment’s Higher Education Program, on their philosophy of giving and their advice to private college and university presidents on philanthropy.

The 2021 Award for Philanthropy (Individual) was presented to Henry B. Tippie and Patricia Bush Tippie for their visionary leadership in philanthropic and volunteer support of higher education. This award celebrates individuals who demonstrate the love of humankind through consequential giving or volunteer service.

Marsden said the Tippies “have set a standard of philanthropic wisdom for all supporters of higher education by establishing scholarships, endowing faculty chairs, supporting the restoration and renovation of campus buildings, and working thoughtfully to create opportunity for young people and to support the enduring values of the liberal arts.”

The Tippies have generously given their time and financial support to CIC member institutions Allegheny and Coe Colleges. Mrs. Tippie, an alumna of Allegheny College, has served on the college’s board since 1992 and currently serves as trustee emerita. A member of the class of 1956, she was among the inaugural members of the college’s alumni council. Previously, Mrs. Tippie served on the alumni congress, its predecessor, and she has actively participated in her class reunion committees. The Tippie’s gifts to Allegheny have totaled over $14 million. They have established scholarships and endowed faculty chairs, supported the renovation of buildings, and contributed to the success of the college’s capital campaigns. Coe College also is a benefactor of the Tippie’s largesse. Mr. Tippie studied at Coe College before his service as a cadet of the United States Army Air Forces. He has established an endowed professorship in business and economics at the college and has been recognized by the college for his generous contributions. The Tippie’s giving also extends to the University of Iowa, where they have contributed both time and funds to support students, faculty members, and buildings on campus.

Marsden said the award reads in part, “Your philanthropy has demonstrably strengthened independent higher education and your generosity serves as a model for others. The presidents of the nation’s independent colleges and universities gratefully honor your distinguished record of generosity and service.”

The 2021 Award for Philanthropy (Organization) was presented to The Duke Endowment in recognition of the endowment’s extraordinary focus on academic excellence, affordability, and community engagement. Susan McConnell accepted the award on behalf of the endowment. This award celebrates a foundation or corporation whose support to CIC or private colleges and universities has demonstrated leadership and vision and consequently has made a significant difference in the vitality of independent higher education.

In presenting the award, Marsden said, “The Duke Endowment’s higher education program has provided invaluable support for undergraduate programs, scholarships, and professorships at several colleges and universities in North Carolina and South Carolina, with the goal of educating students whose future contributions will benefit the region. CIC members Furman and Johnson C. Smith Universities in particular have benefited tremendously from the Duke Endowment’s generosity, with recent generous gifts to support myriad campus programs, personnel, and facilities.”

The Duke Endowment has worked since 1924 to help people and strengthen communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds, and enriching spirits. James Buchanan Duke established the endowment in 1924 with $40 million. In 1925, it was expanded with an additional $67 million from his estate. The Duke Endowment has awarded more than $3.7 billion in grants since its inception; in 2019 it distributed approximately $64.5 million in grant funds. The endowment’s higher education program focuses on academic excellence, making education more affordable for qualified students, and developing engagement opportunities that serve local communities and students. It works through select colleges and universities (Davidson College, Duke University, Furman University, and Johnson C. Smith University) to support undergraduate programs, scholarships, professorships, and faculty members with the goal of educating people whose future contributions will benefit society. Furman and Johnson C. Smith Universities have benefited tremendously from the Duke Endowment’s contributions, which in recent years have supported need-based scholarships, academic programming and staffing, buildings, special campus initiatives, and presidential funds. The Duke Endowment’s support has been described by these institutions as transformational.

​The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of more than 760 nonprofit independent colleges and universities, state-based councils of independent colleges, and other higher education affiliates, that works to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of independent higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on services to leaders of independent colleges and universities and state-based councils. CIC offers conferences, seminars, publications, and other programs and services that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, student outcomes, and institutional visibility. It conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers in the United States. Founded in 1956, CIC is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.