Director of Communications
For Immediate Release
Dec. 10, 2007
Washington, D.C.—A fiscal “genius” and leader in helping secure higher education reforms in Virginia and an innovator in achieving legislative goals for Seminole Community College are the 2007 recipients of the Marvin D. “Swede” Johnson Achievement Award and the Edwin Crawford Award for Innovation, respectively.
Stuart W. Connock, executive assistant to the president for state governmental relations at the University of Virginia, is this year’s recipient of the Marvin D. “Swede” Johnson Award. Donald Payton, director of government relations at Seminole Community College in Sanford, Fla., is the recipient of the Edwin Crawford Award.
The two awards are given annually for leadership in state relations and institutional advocacy. They are the only national awards in higher education state relations, a field that encompasses advocacy and outreach efforts on behalf of colleges and universities to governors, state legislators and other key policymakers.
The awards are administered by the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. The Johnson Award was sponsored by UCF Alumni Association, University of Central Florida, and the Crawford Award was sponsored by Capitol Impact LLC.
The winners received their awards Nov. 29 during the 2007 Higher Education Government Relations Conference sponsored by the four associations at the Trump International Sonesta in Miami, Fla.
Stuart Connock, recipient of the Marvin D. “Swede” Johnson Award. Since 1990, Connock has served as executive assistant to the president for state government relations at the University of Virginia. During this time, he has played an active role in advocating funding for UVA and issues of interest to the university and other higher education institutions throughout Virginia. Highlights of his work include his leadership in helping secure legislation that granted the University of Virginia Medical Center more flexibility in procurement, capital projects and other areas, and the passage of legislation that gave greater autonomy to UVA and other Virginia universities. Enacted in 2005, the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act is considered by many as one of the most important reforms to higher education in Virginia in the past two decades.
In a letter of recommendation, Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell wrote that Connock’s “deep passion for the University of Virginia and higher education in general is evident in every endeavor he pursues. That commitment combined with his expertise, integrity and diplomacy have made him an extremely effective advocate for his institution.”
Donald Payton, recipient of the Edwin Crawford Award. Payton is director of government relations at Seminole Community College in Florida. In this position, he worked with legislators, campus leaders and others to successfully secure significant new operating and facilities funding for Seminole Community College. He also took the lead in developing a comprehensive legislative and political strategy for 28 colleges that make up the Florida Association of Community Colleges. As a result of these efforts, Florida’s community colleges received the largest funding increase in the history of the system for fiscal year 2006-2007.
In a letter of recommendation, Florida Rep. David Simmons wrote that he worked closely with Payton to bring new funding to SCC and other facilities and that he was “impressed with the creative, inclusive approach” Payton took to lobbying for these projects.
The Marvin D. "Swede" Johnson Award, named for the former director of state government relations at the universities of Arizona and New Mexico, comes with a cash prize and a crystal award. The Edwin Crawford Award, named to honor the 40 years of state government relations work by Edwin Crawford, a former director of public affairs and state relations at CASE, Auburn University, the University of Virginia, Ohio State University, and the University of California System, also comes with a cash prize and a crystal award.
About the American Association of Community Colleges
The American Association of Community Colleges represents more than 1,100 associate degree-granting institutions and some 10 million students. Formed in 1920, AACC is a national voice for community colleges, which marked their 100th year of service to the nation in 2001.
About the American Association of State Colleges and Universities
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities represents more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems of higher education throughout the United States and its territories. AASCU schools enroll more than three million students or 55 percent of the enrollment at all public four-year institutions.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is a professional association serving educational institutions and the advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas.
CASE was founded in 1974 and maintains headquarters in Washington, D.C., with offices in London (CASE Europe, 1994), Singapore (CASE Asia-Pacific, 2007) and Mexico City (CASE América Latina, 2011).
Today, CASE’s membership includes more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries around the globe. This makes CASE one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational associations in terms of institutional membership. CASE serves more than 74,000 advancement professionals on the staffs of its member institutions and has more than 17,000 professional members on its roster.
To fulfill their missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on—and therefore must foster—the good will, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers and other external constituencies.
CASE helps its members build stronger relationships with all of these constituencies by providing relevant research, supporting growth in the profession and fostering support of education. CASE also offers a variety of advancement products and services, provides standards and an ethical framework for the profession and works with other organizations to respond to public issues of concern while promoting the importance of education worldwide.
About the National Association of State Universities
The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges is the nation's oldest higher education association and includes more than 200 public universities. NASULGC works to support the contributions that state and land-grant universities make to learning, discovery, and engagement.