Distinguished Achievement Award
The CASE District IV Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes individuals making significant commitment to the advancement profession, both by service to their institution and volunteer service to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and CASE District IV.Nominees should exhibit a balance of service to CASE, either at the international or district level, and service to the member institution.
A Distinguished Achievement Award recipient may be chosen annually by a committee composed of the prior year recipient of the award, three to five past DAA recipients, the District’s Chair-Elect, and one additional Board member appointed by the District chair. The DAA Committee shall forward its recommendation for approval by the District’s Executive Committee.
- Currently employed as an advancement professional at a CASE District IV member institution with a minimum of five consecutive years at a CASE IV institution prior to nomination.
- Sustained outstanding performance of responsibilities. Documentation of performance may include professional certification or other recognition, CASE awards, publications, etc.
- Ten-year active involvement in CASE with emphasis on participation and leadership. May include service to the profession through active involvement as leader, teacher, mentor district officer, committee member/chair and other service.
- A completed CASE District IV Official Nomination Form.
- A nominating statement listing:
- Highlights of outstanding performance of responsibilities.
- Highlights of CASE involvement.
- Other reasons for consideration.
Laura Murray’s tenure in advancement has spanned 23 years, and she has served at several institutions across Texas.
Her mantra is the same—at her institution or at CASE — she’s here to help. Regardless of what’s needed, she’s always willing to step in to do the job or to help find someone else who can also help. Simply put, she’s one of those people you can always count on.
She has long been an active volunteer and leader in CASE IV, having been a track chair for three district conferences, a faculty member for the New Professionals conference, received the CASE Red Apple Award on multiple occasions, and received district awards in several categories.
We’ve been blessed to have her on the CASE Board for the last two years as our Volunteer Coordinator. She helped to re-energize this conference by recruiting and engaging new members to get involved with this organization.
Jim Lewis has an extensive background in higher education development, which spans more than 30 years.
Jim has served in nearly every capacity for CASE District IV and has played an active role in the mentorship of advancement professionals new to the profession.
He and his late wife, Cheryl, sponsored several scholarships over the years, and endowed a music scholarship in Cheryl’s name at Arkansas Tech University, her undergraduate alma mater.
An A-State alumna with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Smith came to A-State in 1992 as assistant director of alumni relations and was promoted to executive director in 1997. She oversees the operation of the Department of Alumni Relations and serves as executive director of the A-State Alumni Association.
Additionally, she has served in several volunteer capacities for CASE District IV, including as a member of their board of directors and board chair from 2006-2008. In 2003, she served as chair of the CASE District IV annual conference, which was held in Little Rock.
For graduates of Arkansas State University, Beth Smith has served as the friendly face, the welcoming voice and the fellow classmate who represented the institution to our tens of thousands of alumni.
In a world filled with metrics, we could point out she has seen our alumni giving reach new highs in recent years, but that isn’t the true measure of her value to Arkansas State. Her service to A-State has touched generations of Indians, and now of course, Red Wolves, who remain connected to their university through her organization.
2015 Distinguished Achievement Award
Liz Landry, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
2013 Distinguished Achievement Award
Danny Jensen, UNT Health Science Center
2012 Distinguished Achievement Award
Patty Scogin, Austin Community College
2011 Distinguished Achievement Award