Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award (formerly known as the Lifetime Membership Award) is the highest award that NASFAA can bestow on one of its members or an individual who is affiliated with a member organization. To be eligible to receive this award, the individual must first be employed or have been employed by a member institution, be an associate member, or be employed by an associate member organization.

This award is the highest that NASFAA can bestow on a member; therefore, the achievements and contributions of the individual must truly be outstanding and significant. Normally, the individual will have made these contributions and achievements over a sustained period of time. This award is not typically made for a one-time achievement or effort, but for work over a sustained period of time for the Association and the profession in important capacities, and contributing significantly to NASFAA's success in meeting its goals.

The NASFAA Awards Nomination process is now open for member nominations until February 15, 2021. Winners will be announced this summer at the NASFAA National Conference.

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Ron DayRon Day, Director of Student Financial Aid, Kennesaw State University

Ron Day has given unselfishly of his time and knowledge to help others in the financial aid profession for over 30 years. He is a strong advocate for what he believes to be true and right and is never afraid to ask the tough questions. Ron has been a mentor to many in his state, the region, and nationally. He has held various leadership positions in several state associations and has served his state association of GASFAA and regional association SASFAA as President and many other roles. Ron has also given back to his national association through his membership on the Board of Directors on several occasions, and has served on a wide range of committees both as a member and as a chair. He served as 2012-13 NASFAA National Chair, during which time he focused on fostering a cohesive participatory board and helping his peers grow as leaders, and gain stature as a profession. Ron received NASFAA's Allan Purdy Distinguished Service Award in 2013 and been honored by GASFAA with the Donald E. Payton Lifetime Achievement Award, and with SASFAA's Distinguished Service Award. Ron recently announced a July 1, 2020 retirement date; we thank him for his years of service and friendship.

David GelinasDavid Gelinas, Director of Financial Aid, Davidson College

Throughout the course of his career, David Gelinas has given a lifetime of service to the financial aid community. Starting out in Michigan, he then moved on to Montana, Tennessee, and finally North Carolina. He has held virtually every committee position at the state, regional, and national level, and has served as both state and regional president. Fondly known as "Sheriff Dave," he served as 2005-06 NASFAA National Chair, and during his tenure he encouraged NASFAA members to serve as catalysts for positive change in college-going behaviors and urged members to advocate for the primacy of need-based aid in policy decisions. Leading by example, Dave shared philosophical ideas as well as practical tools to help members recommit to early awareness efforts and reconnect with the future generations of college students and their families. In addition to his professional accomplishments, he has mentored many, both directly and through his numerous writings and presentations. Dave has announced he'll be retiring July 10, 2020, and we thank him for his leadership and support of the profession through the years.

Past winners list

Publication Date: 10/2/2020

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