Texas Christian University was selected to receive the John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB). AGB and its mission partner TIAA present the Nason Award, established in 1992, to higher education governing boards that demonstrate exceptional leadership and initiative.
This year’s honorees were chosen from a diverse array of nominations illustrating the essential work of boards from four-year public and private colleges and universities, two-year institutions and institutionally related foundations. Each recipient was recognized for its justice, diversity, equity and inclusion-related programs and initiatives as well as its efforts to enhance student success.
As part of its responsibility to advance TCU’s mission, strategic goals and student and community success, the TCU Board of Trustees has prioritized an inclusive environment that fosters belonging for all students, faculty and staff. With the Board’s leadership and championing, the University developed the Race & Reconciliation Initiative (RRI) – an academically based, historically focused initiative designed to research and document the University’s 150-year history and develop recommendations to build a more inclusive community. Trustees also helped develop the University’s DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) goals, which led to the establishment of an intercultural center on campus; increased goals and training related to diversity, equity and inclusion education; increased diversity among mental health counselors, faculty and administrators; and led to the appointment of the University’s first Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Chief Inclusion Officer. The Board also commissioned the Study/Advisement on University Social Issues Subcommittee, which engaged Board members with ongoing DEI initiatives and strategic planning for equitable student success.
“It is an honor for TCU’s Board of Trustees to be recognized for its ongoing commitment to firmly support a community that fosters belonging for students, faculty and staff,” said Mark L. Johnson, TCU Board of Trustees Chairman. “TCU is known for its culture of connection and unmatched student experience, and this award recognizes the strategic vision and significant investment of time by my fellow Board members. On behalf of the Board, I also commend the tireless work of Chancellor Victor Boschini and his executive team and fellow Board member LaDainian Tomlinson ‘LT’ for his leadership of the subcommittee that supported our efforts.”
Tomlinson said, “First as a student-athlete and now as longtime TCU Trustee, I’ve watched our campus grow and build a more inclusive environment for all. Leading this subcommittee for the Board, participating in the Race & Reconciliation Initiative and working with student leaders has been rewarding.
“Our efforts make a difference, especially when Board and administrative leadership work collaboratively with students and community leaders to inspire lasting change,” continued the NFL Hall of Fame member.
TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. added, “Texas Christian University is blessed with an exceptional and visionary Board of Trustees, and this recognition is well-deserved. Our Trustees work in concert with students, faculty and staff to advocate and build pathways for our campus community to be a place where all are welcome. We strive to create a place of belonging, and that requires purposeful attention to and prioritization of diversity, equity and inclusion — every day. This is recognition of that and encouragement for the work that we will continue to do.”
TCU is one of five institutions receiving this year’s Nason Award. Other recipients include the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees, the Holyoke Community College Foundation Board of Directors, the Utah State University Foundation Board of Directors and the Xavier University of Louisiana Board of Trustees.
“Strategic governing boards play a vital role in assuring the value and vitality of higher education,” said Henry Stoever, AGB president and CEO. “We are grateful for these boards’ contributions to creating a more just, equitable and inclusive environment for all students, and we hope that their efforts will inspire more boards to hone their strategic thought partnership with chief executives and leadership teams. I am impressed by the achievements of our honorees, and I look forward to their future strides in promoting student success — for all 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 is the premier organization advocating strategic board governance in higher education. TIAA is a Fortune 100 financial services organization dedicated to helping its clients pursue financial well-being.