It is with great sadness we announce the passing of longtime financial aid advocate and friend Kenneth Wooten. Ken, who served for many years as the registrar and dean of admissions at the University of Mississippi, was the first to hold the official title of president for the National Student Financial Aid Council, the precursor to NASFAA. Even after retiring, Ken remained actively involved with NASFAA, attending all five of the NASFAA member retiree group reunions and celebrating NASFAA's 50th anniversary with us at the 2016 NASFAA National Conference in Washington, D.C.
Over the course of his distinguished career in higher education, Ken was honored with two prestigious NASFAA awards. In 1970, he and Allan W. Purdy—who served as chairman of the National Student Financial Aid Council from 1966-1969 and was later accorded recognition, upon ratification of the constitution, as the organization’s first president—were the inaugural recipients of the Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award for their significant contributions in the furtherance of the Association's goals.
In 2003, Ken was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest award that NASFAA can bestow on one of its members, for his achievements and contributions to our profession and to NASFAA.
He was deeply involved in financial aid associations, not just at the national level, but also at the state regional levels. In 1967, Ken was elected and served as the first president of the newly formed Mississippi Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), and today he is listed as an honorary MASFAA member.
Ever a believer in the value of higher education and the idea that it should be accessible for all, Ken was a frequent donor to NASFAA's Dallas Martin Endowment (DME), which aims to help cultivate the next generation of student aid advocates.
Ken was instrumental in getting the National Student Financial Aid Council off the ground and laying the groundwork to make NASFAA what it is today. NASFAA is grateful for the impact Ken has had on the financial aid community as a whole. Our sincerest condolences and best wishes go out to Ken’s family and friends. He will remain in our thoughts.
Publication Date: 7/18/2018