To honor those that contribute to independent higher education in Texas, ICUT on occassion presents awards to highlight the accomplishments of deserving individuals.
The Robert D. Hunter Founders Award
First presented in 1990, the Founders Award has always represented the highest honor ICUT can confer, with the name recalling the small group of visionary college presents that filed Articles of Incorporation creating this association in 1965. Early association activities relied heavily on the volunteered time and energy of member institution presidents. To assist in accomplishing ICUT's first major legislative goal - passage of the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) program in 1971 - the president of Abilene Christian University, Dr. John Stevens, appointed a member of ACU's development staff to coordinate lobbying activities. That volunteered individual was Dr. Robert D. Hunter, who succeeded in establishing the TEG program and went on to serve the association honorably as ICUT's part-time executive vice president.
To honor Dr. Hunter's legacy, the ICUT Board of Directors voted in 2017 to rename the Founders Award in his honor, thereby creating the Robert D. Hunter Founders Award.
The Robert D. Hunter Founders Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate the same vision and commitment to independent higher education as those who founded the association more than 50 years ago. To be eligible for the award, a candidate must:
The ICUT Board of Directors presents the award only when merited. Persons currently serving as chief executive officers of ICUT institutions are not eligible to recieve the award. Under current Texas Ethics laws, Texas-elected officials currently holding office are prohibited from accepting the award.
Past 10 Recipients
The Carol L. McDonald Public Service Award
This award is ICUT's newest honor, named in honor of the association's first full-time president, Carol L. McDonald, who dedicated herself to public service thoughout her career. Before her time as ICUT president, Ms. McDonald sesrved in the office of Texas Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby, and worked at the National Institute for Public Administration in Kuala Lumpur as well as the U.S. Office of Education in Washington, D.C. She began her tenure as ICUT president in 1982, leading the association through a period of growth and expansion and working tirelessly to preserve and increase funding for the TEG program. Ms. McDonald worked tirelessly in support of independent higher education in Texas, leading the charge on a number of legislative priorities in her 32 years as president before her retirement in 2014.
To honor her decades of public service and dedication, the ICUT Board of Directors approved the creation of the Carol L. McDonald Public Service Award in 2017.
Public service is inextricably linked to ICUT's mission of sustaining and advancing independent, nonprofit higher education in Texas. Employees at ICUT member institutions are actively engaged in public service in multiple local, regional and global settings. Each year, the Carol L. McDonald Public Service Award will recognize and honor one such ICUT academic or staff employee who has demonstrated outstanding public service beyond the scope of their job and/or teaching requirements. Nominees will be evaluated on the following criteria:
This award will be presented annually after consideration of nominations by the ICUT Board of Directors. Nominees must be academic or staff employees of an ICUT member institution at the time of nomination.
Past 10 Recipients