David Irwin, Longtime Washington State Higher Education Leader, to Receive National Award

February 03, 1999

WASHINGTON, D.C. - David M. Irwin, past president of Washington Friends of Higher Education, the association representing private nonprofit colleges and universities in Washington state, has been selected to receive the 1999 Henry Paley Memorial Award from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). The award will be presented today at NAICU's annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Named 14 years ago for Henry Paley, who served as president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York from 1975 until his death in 1984, the award recognizes an individual who embodies the spirit of unfailing service toward the students and faculty of independent higher education.

"For more than 30 years, Dave Irwin gave distinguished service and inspired leadership to independent higher education in Washington and across the United States," said NAICU President David L. Warren. "His passionate advocacy of educational choice and student assistance, and unwavering commitment to independent higher education, stand as a shining example to all of us."

Irwin was appointed president of Washington Friends of Higher Education (now the Washington Association of Independent Colleges and Universities) in 1972. He retired in 1997 as the longest tenured executive of any independent college and university state association. He was an original founder of NAICU, and was a member of the NAICU board of directors. Irwin also held several leadership positions with the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives. In 1980, he was appointed to the National Commission on Student Financial Assistance by the president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate.

Since 1997, Irwin has also been honored for service to higher education by Whitworth College, Seattle University, Pacific Lutheran University, and the Seattle University Alumni Association.

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