District VIII Distinguished Service Award
The Distinguished Service Award is given to a CASE VIII member for outstanding service to the district. The service may come in any number of ways, including:
- conference leadership and/or speaker
- exceptional volunteer role, such as a lengthy record of designing/producing materials for conferences
- distinguished service on the board and with CASE International (trustee, commission, or other major volunteer role).
The award is given to a current District VIII employee, or someone who has been a district member within the past three years. The Distinguished Service Award recipient is selected by the Executive Committee of the Board.
The CASE VIII 2020 Distinguished Volunteer Service Award recipient is Paul Rucker, Vice President for Alumni and Stakeholder Engagement at the University of Washington and Executive Director of the UW Alumni Association.
Throughout a career dedicated to higher education and advancing the public mission of our institutions, Rucker’s service to District VIII and to CASE overall has made a deep impact on all of our members and to the advancement profession.
“Paul brings a voice of wisdom, reason and inclusivity, and passionately supports the work of CASE at both the district and national levels,” said Brian Bowman, District VIII Board Chair. “He is genuinely interested in people and their success, significantly contributing to the vibrancy of District VIII and the advancement profession. He embodies the qualities of a leader and shares his gifts freely, generously and thoughtfully.”
Rucker has served in numerous volunteer leadership roles with CASE and the Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE) during his tenure in higher education. He currently serves as a member of the CASE Board of Trustees, the association’s primary governing body, on which he holds the roles of CASE VIII Regional Representative and District Councils Chair.
He also is on the Board of Directors of CAAE and is serving as faculty chair for CASE’s 2020 “Boot Camp for New Vice Presidents,” which prepares advancement professionals to thrive as senior leaders. He is a frequent speaker on the national stage on the strategic integration of alumni relations in higher education and alumni legislative advocacy program administration.
“Paul’s commitment to CASE runs deep, and we are very grateful for his service," said Sue Cunningham, President and CEO of CASE. "He has been thoughtful and deliberate in his volunteer activities with a focus on serving CASE and the advancement profession. His most recent work in developing the 'Higher Education Leadership Roundtable: Strengthening Public Trust' event in January at the University of Washington is a perfect example of his distinguished service to education. I’m thrilled to see him recognized with the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from CASE District VIII.”
Rucker started his career in 1992 serving in student affairs and workforce development leadership roles at Washington community and technical colleges and was the founding director of the Washington State Community College Consortium for Study Abroad, one of the nation’s leading community college study/teach abroad programs. He returned to his alma mater in 2004 and has served as the UW’s chief alumni relations officer since 2009.
“After more than two decades in higher education, Paul demonstrates a commitment to the sector that extends far beyond alumni relations,” said Courtney Acitelli, director of UW Impact. “He believes in college as a public good, he cares deeply about public perceptions of higher education and he encourages civic engagement within the alumni community and beyond.”
Rucker will be formally recognized for his distinguished service during the awards luncheon during the CASE District VIII 2020 Conference on Jan. 30 in Renton, Washington.