University Affairs

USU Foundation Board Named 2023 John W. Nason Award Recipient

LOGAN, UTAH — The Utah State University Foundation Board announced they have been 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.

Leveraging its standing as a respected voice that has paved the way for ambitious university initiatives, the USU Foundation Board has championed efforts in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion that have created lasting, positive impact on campus, as well as to an extended community of citizens. In addition, the board develops and supports fundraising efforts that align with the university’s new strategic plan Aggie Action 2028. Working in tandem with the USU Advancement team and university administrators, a record-breaking $110 million was raised in fiscal year 2021-22, allowing the university to maintain its trajectory toward continued excellence, access and innovation as Utah’s R1 designated land- and space-grant institution.

“It is such an honor to be recognized by AGB, and it’s reflective of each board member’s dedication, passion and commitment to the Aggie Family," said USU Vice President of Advancement and Foundation Board President Matt White. "The board continues to raise the bar of excellence, while ensuring the work being done aligns with USU’s mission, vision and strategic plan. I am proud to support this inspiring group of talented people who create impact as USU’s leading advocates, advisors and investors.”

The USU Foundation Board is advancing the newly launched “Create Your Aggie Impact” initiative-driven fundraising campaign that matches donor passions with university priorities and focuses on gift impact. The board has been instrumental in earning legislative and financial support for the university’s newly founded, and Utah’s only, College of Veterinary Medicine, and advancing efforts in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Many successful outcomes include creating a collaborative partnership between USU (a historically White university) and Fort Valley State University (a historically Black university), supporting the creation of the inaugural USU vice president of DEI position, approving budgets that prioritize equitable pay, building an inclusive environment that encourages dialogue and interaction on diverse views, and proudly welcoming its first female chair in July 2023.

“I am thrilled to be part of the USU Foundation Board during a time of so many positive changes,” said USU Foundation Board Chair Marshall Crawford. “As a board, we have all advocated for USU and used our collective expertise to leverage positive outcomes in many areas of the university. I am particularly proud of the work we have done in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion, where we have made changes to promote these principles, not only within the board, but with the university at large. It has been such a pleasure to meet so many people who support and invest in the mission and vision of USU.”

Utah State is one of five institutions receiving this year’s Nason Award and was 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. Other recipients include the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees, the Holyoke Community College Foundation Board of Directors, the Texas Christian University Board of Trustees 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. Learn more about AGB's Nason Award at

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.

Sharing the dedication to advancing USU’s mission to create a welcoming academic environment that cultivates diversity of thought and culture through learning, discovery and engagement, the USU Foundation Board is committed to its role as leading advocates, advisors and investors in creating exceptional gift, engagement and stewardship experiences for the Aggie Family.

As a whole, the USU Foundation Board consists of 23 members, as well as the past president of the USU Alumni Association, the vice chair of the USU Board of Trustees and the on-campus representation of USU President Noelle Cockett, Vice President of Advancement and Foundation President Matthew White, Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Dave Cowley and Senior Director of Campaign Strategy and Engagement and Foundation Secretary Scott Olson. Members of the board are leaders in investment, nonprofit management, politics, outreach and advocacy and business processes. Each member enhances the overall board’s performance as they are tasked with creating working relationships with the institution’s other major boards and board members in order to improve alignment with university goals and vision.


Janette Robbins
Director of Strategic Communications


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