Four Higher Education Governing Boards Receive the AGB 2024 John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership 

By AGB January 17, 2024 March 11th, 2024 Press Releases
Press Release

For Immediate Release
Morgan Alexander

WASHINGTON, DC (January 17, 2024)—The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), in partnership with TIAA, today announced that it has selected four higher education governing boards to receive the 2024 John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership. Established in 1992, the Nason Award is presented to higher education governing boards that demonstrate exceptional leadership and initiative.

This year’s honorees were chosen from a wide array of diverse nominations from four-year public and private colleges and universities, two-year institutions, and institutionally related foundations. This year’s Nason Award recipients are:

  • Babson College Board of Trustees (Massachusetts): Continuously aspirational and driven by innovation, the Babson College Board of Trustees partnered with the college’s leadership team to define a “greatness agenda” that concentrated the entire institutional leadership and strategy on a set of aligned goals for the future. These goals, ranging from fortifying the college’s role as a trendsetter in entrepreneurship education to fostering campus belonging and futureproofing the institution’s business model, also generated specific plans to expand and elevate student success in the form of new lifelong learning strategies, an enhanced Herring Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Village (a living and learning community), and a superior residential campus experience.
  • Oakton College Educational Foundation Board of Directors (Illinois): Oakton College’s foundation board engaged in a five-year evolution, transforming the foundation from a financial steward into a substantial enabler of student success via board development, a renewed institution-foundation partnership, and a deep commitment to students, the college, and the broader community. With the help of an enthusiastic board and senior leadership, the foundation prioritized donor engagement and fundraising performance, increased scholarship support by 54 percent, provided significant funding for health and safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, helped launch the Emory Williams Academy for Black Men, and more.
  • Saint Peter’s University Board of Trustees (New Jersey): In response to both the COVID-19 pandemic and an abiding dedication to Magis—a Jesuit principle of excellence—the Saint Peter’s University board and senior leaders leveraged a new strategic plan to secure the university’s financial security and manifest the university’s mission through a reaffirmed commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Simultaneously, the board took bold steps to become more consequential through regular self-assessment and the adoption of leading governance practices.
  • University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Foundation Board of Directors: Since 2005, the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Foundation and its board have met critical university and community needs, partnering with nonprofit and for-profit organizations to develop seven major real estate projects that continue to benefit students and neighbors alike. Recognizing that the foundation needed real estate expertise on its board to be successful, leaders intentionally sought out board members to bolster the board’s collective wisdom. Eventually, the foundation board successfully established the Blugold Real Estate Foundation and directly supported significant university and community sites such as the Pablo Center at the Confluence, Aspenson Mogensen Hall, and the new County Materials Complex.

“Like presidents and other higher education leaders, governing boards are constantly looking for inspiring stories to celebrate, emulate, and reflect on,” said Ellen Chaffee, AGB interim president and CEO. “The selection committee felt these four nominations deserved recognition for the work they have done for their students, their communities, and their institutions and foundations. I am deeply impressed by the honorees’ achievements, and I look forward to seeing where they go next.”

Recipients of the 2024 awards will be honored at AGB’s Foundation Leadership Forum (January 28–30) and National Conference on Trusteeship (March 26–28).

“Board governance is the compass that steers colleges and universities toward long-term success,” said Jim Mullery, head of institutional relationship management at TIAA. “AGB and TIAA are pleased to recognize this year’s AGB Nason Award recipients for their leadership and their dedication to creating transformational change for their institutions and their students.”

The Nason Award is named for higher education leader John W. Nason, who served as the chair of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council and helped more than 4,000 interned students continue their college studies across the nation during World War II. AGB would like to thank TIAA for its support of the Nason Award. Learn more about AGB’s Nason Award at

About AGB
The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is the premier membership organization that strengthens higher education governing boards and the strategic roles they serve within their organizations. Through our vast library of resources, educational events, and consulting services, and with more than 100 years of experience, we empower 40,000 AGB members from more than 2,000 institutions and foundations to navigate complex issues, implement leading practices, streamline operations, and govern with confidence. AGB is the trusted resource for board members, chief executives, and key administrators on higher education governance and leadership. Learn more at

About TIAA  
TIAA is a leading provider of secure retirements and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people and thousands of institutions. It is the #1 not-for-profit retirement market provider1, paid more than $5.6 billion in lifetime income to retired clients in 2022 and has $1.2 trillion in assets under management (as of 3/31/2023)2.

1 As of July 21, 2022. Based on data in PLANSPONSOR’s 403(b) 2022 DC Recordkeeping Survey, combined 457 and 403(b) data.

2 As of March 31, 2023 assets under management across Nuveen Investments affiliates and TIAA investment management teams are $1,240 billion.