Award for Advocacy of Independent Higher Education


The NAICU Advocacy Award was established to recognize individuals outside of academe who have championed the cause of independent higher education. Whether in government, business, or philanthropy, the recipient of this award has provided leadership, established resources, or enacted policy at the state or national level that recognized the role of independent colleges and universities in serving public purposes. No single contribution makes one eligible to receive the award, it recognizes a lifetime of service, initiative, and determination. 

Previous Recipients 

2022 Lois Dickson Rice, "Mother of the Pell Grant" (Posthumously)
Award Acepted by Ambassador Susan Rice (News Release)  (Amb. Susan Rice Remarks)


No award given


Hon. Michael E. Capuano (D-MA), Member, U.S. House of Representatives and 
Hon. Robert W.
Goodlatte, Member, U.S. House of Representatives (R-VA)
Founding co-chairs of the Congressional Independent Colleges Caucus.
 (News Release)

2015-18 No award given
2014 Hon. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Member, U.S. Senate (News Release)
2013 Arnold L. Mitchem, President, Council for Opportunity in Education (News Release)
2012 United Technologies Corporation, accepted by UTC Chairman and CEO Louis Chenevert (News Release)
2011 Hon. Timothy H. Bishop (D-NY), Member, U.S. House of Representatives (News Release)
2010 Hon. George Miller (D-CA), Member, U.S. House of Representatives
2009 Hon. John W. Warner (R-VA), Member, U.S. Senate (News Release) 
2008 Hon. Ralph Regula (R-OH), Member, U.S. House of Representatives (News Release)
2007 Loren Pope, College Placement Counselor and Author, Colleges that Change Lives
2006 Hon. Philip S. English (R-PA), Member, U.S. House of Representatives (News Release) 
2005 Hon. Thomas H. Kean, President, Drew University (NJ); Chair, The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States; Former Governor, State of New Jersey (News Release)
2004 Hon. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), Member, U.S. Senate (News Release)
2003 Hon. Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), Member, U.S. House of Representatives (News Release)
2002 Hon. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA), Member, U.S. House of Representatives (News Release)
2001 Hon. David R. Obey (D-WI), Member, U.S. House of Representatives (News Release)
2000 Hon. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Member, U.S. Senate (News Release)
1999 Hon. Claiborne Pell (D-RI) , Member, U.S. Senate (News Release)
1998 Hon. William Roth (R-DE), Member, U.S. Senate
1997 Hon. Richard Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education 
1996 NAICU Member President’s for their Advocacy in Restoring Proposed Cuts to the Federal Student Aid Programs
1995 Hon. Robert Stafford (R-VT), Member, U.S. Senate
1994 Hon. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Member, U.S. Senate
1993 Hon. Terry Sanford (D-NC), Member, U.S. Senate