50 years of black undergraduate life celebration wins 2 Grand Gold Awards from CASE

Rice University’s celebration of 50 years of black undergraduate life won two Grand Gold Awards in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) 2017 Circle of Excellence Awards international competition. Judges reserve Grand Gold status to recognize exceptional work.

logo for CASE Grand Gold AwardThe Office of the President, Development and Alumni Relations, Public Affairs and the Association of Rice University Black Alumni collaborated on the yearlong series of events designed to reflect upon Rice’s history, to celebrate culture and inclusiveness and to foster the exchange of ideas across generations.

The Grand Gold Awards were given in the categories “Special Events: Yearlong” and “Diversity Program: External Constituencies.” The celebration also won a Bronze Award in the category “Alumni Relations: Programming for Special Constituencies.”

“We were blown away by Rice’s entry,” the judges wrote. “The more we read into the application, the more impressive the undertaking became. Rice’s year of events shined above all others in the incredible thoughtfulness and planning of the events. This was indeed an entire year of celebration, remembrance and looking forward.” Calling the event “inspirational,” the judges described it as “a fully comprehensive, well-planned, mission-driven year of community building.”

Rice’s Development and Alumni Relations team also won three other CASE Circle of Excellence Awards.

Two were for Sallyportal.org, Rice’s professional development platform that allows Rice students and alumni who are looking for professional development opportunities to connect with alumni and parent volunteers: a Silver Award in the category “Alumni Relations: Student Alumni Initiatives” and a Bronze Award in the “Collaborative Program” category.

The 24-hour Challenge: Leap Day (2016) event was recognized with a Silver Award in the category “Fundraising Programs: Challenge Grant/Matching Gift Programs.” More than 5,500 members of the Rice community accepted a challenge from the Rice Board of Trustees to get at least 5,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni, parents and current seniors to make a donation to Rice on Feb. 29, 2016, which would result in an additional $500,000 donation from the board to the Rice Annual Fund. With the board’s gift, the total raised exceeded $1.5 million for causes across campus.

CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and their advancement professionals in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. The Circle of Excellence Awards recognize outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing at CASE member institutions worldwide. The competition is judged by peer professionals at schools, colleges and universities as well as by professionals from outside higher education.

About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.