Skip to content Menu

(Washington, DC) – In recognition of their outstanding contributions to higher education, five business and finance leaders and one university have received 2020 NACUBO Awards from the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

NACUBO's annual awards recognize individual and institutional excellence in higher education business and financial management and primarily were presented virtually this year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the tough times we find ourselves in, it’s even more important to recognize higher education professionals who lead confidently through good times and bad,” said Susan Whealler Johnston, president and CEO of NACUBO. “No matter the circumstance, these awardees work tirelessly to support their institutions, colleagues, and the higher education industry as a whole.”

NACUBO is pleased to recognize the following award recipients:

2020 Distinguished Business Officer Award
Al Little, vice president of business services at Florida State College at Jacksonville, has received the 2020 Distinguished Business Officer Award for his outstanding achievements to higher education and to NACUBO over an extended period of time. He has worked within the Florida State College system since 1989, and in his current role led the Jacksonville campus through external and internal challenges while it implemented a new ERP, reorganized units, centralized services, and increased institutional growth. A longtime volunteer to higher education, Little twice served on the NACUBO board and is a former president of SACUBO.

2020 Service to NACUBO Award
Maeesha Merchant, senior vice president, finance and operations, chief financial officer, and chief innovation officer at the California Institute of the Arts, has received the 2020 Service to NACUBO Award for her outstanding contributions to the association’s professional development programs. Merchant has served on NACUBO’s New Business Officers Alumni Panel, mentoring program, and several program committees. She also has shared her expertise on the NACUBO in Brief podcast and serves on NACUBO’s Advisory Group on Leadership Diversity.

2020 Daniel D. Robinson Accounting Award
Tom Ewing, director of financial reporting at The Ohio State University, has received the 2020 Daniel D. Robinson Accounting Award in recognition of his leadership and continuous commitment to the advancement of college and university accounting and reporting. Ewing guides his institution through complex transactions and developed a tax function within the controller’s office. Ewing also serves as the higher education representative to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board Disclosure Framework Taskforce.

2020 Student Financial Services Award
Charmaine Daniels
, associate vice president of student financial services at Morehouse College, received the 2020 Student Financial Services Award. At Morehouse, she leads the student financial services department and manages the administration of the $34 million-dollar donation the college received to pay off students’ loan debt. Daniels is a frequent presenter at NACUBO conferences, a former member of the NACUBO Student Financial Services Council, and a member of the Student Financial Services Conference planning committee.

2020 Rodney H. Adams Endowment Management Award
Craig Woody, who recently retired from the University of Denver as senior vice chancellor for business and financial affairs and treasurer after a 35-year tenure, received the 2020 Rodney H. Adams Endowment Management Award. Under Woody, the University of Denver’s endowment grew from $25 million to more than $700 million. He helped to lead the creation of the university’s spending policy as well as the foundational analysis and implementation of its UPMIFA compliance.

2020 Excellence in Sustainability Award
Indiana University
has received the 2020 Excellence in Sustainability Award for its Indiana Sustainability Development Program (ISDP), which aims to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for sustainability jobs within the state. With a multi-prong approach, ISDP trains future sustainability workers with the hope that they ultimately find employment within Indiana’s corporate, nonprofit, government, and higher education sectors.

NACUBO, founded in 1962, is a nonprofit professional organization representing chief administrative and financial officers at more than 1,900 colleges and universities across the country. NACUBO works to advance the economic vitality, business practices, and support of higher education institutions in pursuit of their missions.


Katy McCreary

Director, Public Relations


Related Content

NACUBO Selects 17 Higher Education Business Officers for 2023-24 Fellows Program

NACUBO Awards Recognize Excellence in Higher Education Business Leadership

Seven business officers and two institutions received the prestigious distinction.

73 Higher Education Professionals Selected for NACUBO Emerging Leaders Program

The third cohort of the popular professional development program for NACUBO members will focus on strategic leadership and communications skills.