The Association of Governing Boards’ Nason Award recognizes exceptional leadership.

The Unity College Board of Trustees was recently named as one of five winners of the Association of Governing Boards’ John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership. The Unity College Board was unanimously chosen by a panel of judges among 40 entrants for their dedication to innovation and exemplary leadership.

“From the beginning, our board has been the heart of innovation at Unity College,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “This is an extraordinary honor for this group, who has demonstrated unwavering commitment not only to the mission, institution, and students of Unity College, but to the future of Unity College, to its future students, and to the very future of small, private higher education. What is most remarkable about this altogether remarkable group of volunteers is that — over several terms and through changes and challenges — they have maintained a singular vision throughout nearly a decade of disciplined research, ideation, planning, and implementation.”

During that time, Dr. Khoury noted, the College has seen revenue increased by 30 percent, and the student body has grown by 35 percent, allowing Unity College to invest in student support, academics, and infrastructural improvements. The College has also built an information network, committed to leadership continuity, and executed an extensive brand study.

The board will be honored at the AGB’s National Conference on Trusteeship, April 22-24, in San Francisco. Dr. Khoury and Board Chair John Newlin will be on hand to accept the award, where governing boards, policymakers, innovators, and influencers will hear Unity College’s story. At an upcoming Unity College board meeting, AGB representatives will attend to acknowledge and honor the board in person. A case study of the board’s work will also be included in the March/April 2018 issue of Trusteeship magazine, which has a circulation of 35,000.

“The Unity College board’s story stood out to the judges because it highlighted the board’s strong leadership in the face of significant challenge,” said Richard D. Legon, President of the Association of Governing Boards. For the award, judges were looking for nominees who fit this description: “Serving at the pinnacle of excellence, these are boards that go above and beyond what boards should do, and instead take board-driven measures to advance their institutions in ways that truly matter.”

The AGB is a membership of 1,300 governing boards of higher education institutions. Previous winners of the Nason Award include The Ohio State University Board of Trustees, The College of William & Mary Foundation, and MSU Denver.

“This award is a significant feather in the cap for the college and real recognition for the work and leadership of our wonderful board of trustees,” said Dr. Khoury.

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