Trinity Washington University President Patricia McGuire Receives 2012 Paley Award for Service to Independent Higher Education

February 03, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 31-Patricia McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University received the 2012 Henry Paley Memorial Award today from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). She received the award from NAICU President David L. Warren and Herbert Tillery, executive director of the College Success Foundation - District of Columbia, at the NAICU 2012 Annual Meeting. The meeting is being held in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

Since 1985, the Paley Award has recognized an individual who, throughout his or her career, has unfailingly served the students and faculty of independent higher education. The recipient of this award has set an example for all who would seek to advance educational opportunity in the United States. The Paley Award is named for Henry Paley, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York from 1975 until 1984.

"Pat McGuire is an icon of higher education leadership," said NAICU President David L. Warren. "She has transformed her institution into a national model of private, nonprofit higher education serving a public purpose, and is a tireless, passionate, and articulate voice for the value of America's colleges and universities."

What was then Trinity College was under financial duress when McGuire took the helm in 1989. She assumed the office as the college's sixth president in eight years. A generation later, Trinity is booming. Enrollments have more than doubled, successful capital campaigns have been completed, award-winning buildings now enrich the campus, and academic programs have been expanded-including the only degree program in Washington's poorest neighborhood.

Trinity has reached these goals while staying true to its Catholic mission to ensure justice for all, and remaining rooted in the historic tradition of women's colleges to transform and empower women through education. Seventy percent of Trinity's student body qualifies for Pell Grants, a majority of students are the first in their family to attend college, and 90 percent are minority. Trinity serves more District of Columbia public school graduates than any other private institution in the nation.

McGuire's commitment to higher education for all goes far beyond the students she serves at Trinity.

NAICU has long relied on her to represent independent higher education at the federal level. McGuire has testified before congressional tax, banking, education, and funding committees. She has spoken at Capitol Hill rallies. She has served on Department of Education panels. She has defended student aid, once warning a banking committee-when the housing bubble first burst in 2008-that student loans could be at risk if the federal government didn't act. McGuire has defended universities against taxation through her articulate defense of higher education and all non-profits-using her personal credibility as a president who makes a conscious decision to pay for her own off-campus home, car, and travel.

"In deep appreciation for all she has done for the association, for the colleges and the students we serve, and for her continuing crusade in support of higher education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities is pleased to honor the contributions of Pat McGuire," Warren said.

NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education. With more than 1,000 member institutions and associations nationwide, NAICU reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States. NAICU members enroll 90 percent of all students attending private institutions. They include traditional liberal arts colleges, major research universities, church- and faith-related institutions, historically black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, single-sex colleges, art institutions, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions.


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