Trinity President Patricia McGuire Honored with Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence by TIAA Institute

Trinity President Patricia McGuire Honored with Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence by TIAA Institute

McGuire Recognized for Transforming Trinity Washington University into a National Example that Provides Quality, Accessible Education for Low-income Students of Color

Award bestowed at ACE 2016, the American Council on Education’s 98th Annual Meeting

SAN FRANCISCO, March 14, 2016 – The TIAA Institute today announced Patricia A. McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, as the winner of the 2016 TIAA Institute Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, which recognizes outstanding leadership on the part of a college or university president or chancellor. The award, established in 1993, is named in honor of the great educator and humanitarian, the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh.

“The TIAA Institute is proud to name Patricia McGuire the 2016 Hesburgh Award recipient,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, senior managing director and head of the TIAA Institute. “President McGuire transformed Trinity from an institution on the brink to a thriving university that provides innovative education to students of color, low-income students, and their local community. She exemplifies Father Hesburgh’s spirit and purpose with her commitment to education as a path to economic security as well as her tireless advocacy for educational access nationwide.”

The American Council on Education (ACE) administers the award on the Institute’s behalf and convenes an independent panel of judges that selects the winner. The TIAA Institute bestowed this honor today at ACE2016, ACE’s 98th Annual Meeting.

President McGuire became president of Trinity in 1989 when the university was facing dwindling enrollment and mounting financial woes. Over her 27-year tenure, she has led Trinity through a series of remarkable changes and built an exemplary university that serves an exceptionally diverse student body.

“Father Ted Hesburgh was one of my great heroes not only in education but, even more importantly, for civil rights and social justice throughout society,” said President Patricia McGuire. “I am humbled to receive this award in his name, and delighted to accept on behalf of the Trinity Washington University faculty who are so devoted to the success of our students, as well as for the students whose courage, fortitude and hard work ensure their academic achievements each day. Thank you to the TIAA Institute and the American Council on Education for recognizing the great story that is Trinity.”

President McGuire and Trinity are committed to racial and religious diversity and to serving their local community. The student body is 95% African American or Hispanic and more than half of its students come from Washington, D.C. President McGuire has also stayed true to Trinity’s founding mission to provide educational opportunity for women, tripling enrollment in its women-only undergraduate college. Along with enrollment growth, President McGuire has spearheaded the creation of four new academic units and significant investments in campus infrastructure.

“ACE is proud to join the TIAA Institute in honoring Patricia McGuire, a leader who has achieved truly transformational change at Trinity and made important contributions to the entire higher education community,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “President McGuire’s work ensures that Trinity will continue to serve new generations of students from all walks of life in the coming decades.”

In addition to her outstanding leadership at Trinity, President McGuire is also an influential advocate for educational opportunity nationwide. She has testified before Congress, served on the Department of Education’s Advisory Committee on Student Financial Aid, and participated in the White House Summit on College Opportunity. Her work in these capacities, as well as at Trinity, has focused on promoted access to higher education and enhancing student success.

TIAA Institute Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence Background: Established in 1993, the Hesburgh Award recognizes leadership and commitment to higher education and contributions to the greater good and is presented to a current college or university president or chancellor who embodies the spirit of the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, former President of the University of Notre Dame, and his contributions to higher education and society. The winner is selected by an independent panel of judges.

About the TIAA Institute: The TIAA Institute helps advance the ways individuals and institutions plan for financial security and organizational effectiveness. The Institute conducts in-depth research, provides access to a network of thought leaders and enables those it serves to anticipate trends, plan future strategies and maximize opportunities for success. For more information about the TIAA Institute, which sponsors the Hesburgh Award program, visit

About TIAA: TIAA ( is a unique financial partner. With an award-winning track record for consistent investment performance, TIAA is the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical, cultural and government fields. TIAA has $854 billion in assets under management (as of 12/31/2015) and offers a wide range of financial solutions, including investing, banking, advice and guidance, and retirement services.

About ACE: Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents and related associations. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

About Trinity: Trinity Washington University was founded as Trinity College, a college for women, in 1897 by the Sisters of Notre Name de Namur. Today, Trinity continues its women’s college through the College of Arts and Sciences, while providing undergraduate and graduate degrees to women and men in four additional schools:  School of Business and Graduate Studies, School of Education, School of Professional Studies, and School of Nursing and Health Professions. Trinity became a university in 2004, and today enrolls more than 2,200 students. Follow Trinity on Twitter @TrinityDC and follow President McGuire @TrinityPrez.