Established in 2004, this award is presented annually by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees during the commencement ceremony to a member of the university community (student, alumnus, faculty, administrator, or partner in learning) in recognition of an innovative or creative contribution that has made a significant impact on their community, their industry, or the world around us.
James P. Etter, the first recipient and university founder, had the vision and determination to create the university system. His contribution has made, and continues to make, a difference in the lives of students, alumni, and faculty throughout the world.
The recipient of the James P. Etter Creativity and Innovation Award will be recognized for their contribution to the community as a:
- Catalyst for organizational growth and development that benefits others
- Creator/writer/designer of a paper or creative idea which has resulted in technology, learning, and development, innovation, entrepreneurship, etc.
- Change agent for performance improvements and outcomes
Awardees will be selected on the basis of demonstrated innovation, effectiveness, positive change, personal commitment, entrepreneurship, and excellence.
Nominations may be made by faculty, staff, students, alumni, and those familiar with the nominee’s work.
- The University Awards Committee reviews submissions
- Top candidates are submitted to the Office of the President for final review and approval
- There may be more than one award winner selected in a calendar year (based on the discretion of the review committee and the President’s final approval); however, if no qualified candidates are nominated, the award may not be given
- Award recipients will be honored during Commencement weekend, and should we have an in-person celebration, one-night accommodations and individual travel expenses to attend Commencement will be paid for by the University
- Award recipients receive a crystal trophy
- Award recipients are not required to attend Commencement to accept the award
- 2004: Mr. James P. Etter
- 2005: BG Thomas L. Conant
- 2006: Lt. Col. Laura M. Ryan
- 2007: Mr. Steve Greer
- 2008: Dr. Fred Stielow
- 2009: Mr. Wayne Odachowski
- 2010: Mr. Wesley Holmes
- 2011: Dr. Larry Flegle
- 2012: Mr. Daniel S. Hahn
- 2013: Dr. Phil Ice
- 2014: Dr. Suzanne Minarcine and Mr. Thomas Rasbach
- 2015: Mr. Mark Bond
- 2017: Ms. Chrystal Averette
- 2019: Mr. Jason Bakas
- 2020: Dr. Chandler Sekar
- 2021: Mr. James Barney
- 2022: Ms. Sherrie Dennee
- 2023: Ms. Katt Fisne
The deadline for the 2024 award nominations is January 26, 2024. For additional information or questions, contact the University Awards Committee.