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President Robert A. Brown, whose stewardship of Boston University has strengthened its reputation as a teaching and research university and fostered its acceptance to membership in the Association of American Universities, was honored last week by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), which presented him with the Chief Executive Leadership Award for District I.

The award, given January 29 at the Westin Hotel in Boston, recognizes outstanding efforts on the part of the chief executive officer of a CASE member school in promoting and supporting education and institutional advancement. Recipients must create a vision and inspire others, create a positive institutional image, increase the institution’s stature in the community, and encourage innovation and risk-taking among employees.

“I have a marvelous institution at my back,” Brown told the audience. “We are fortunate to have an incredible development staff, who are passionate about our institution. And I am personally blessed to have a wonderful spouse, Beverly, who logs many of the road miles with me—a blessing that only those who spend too much time in airports and on airplanes can truly understand.”

Brown urged the CASE members present to never forget “the importance of what we do in these institutions, and—by extension—the importance of what you do.” He also praised the work of the many development and alumni relations officers in the room. “The work you do will help define the future of these institutions going forward,” he said. “The US system of higher education is the envy of the world, and private support is what fuels that system.”

Brown was nominated for the award by Robert Knox (CAS’74, GSM’75), chairman of the BU Board of Trustees, Scott Nichols, BU senior vice president for development and alumni relations, and former Tufts president Lawrence S. Bacow, the 2008 recipient of the award.

CASE is a professional organization that serves educational institutions and the advancement professionals—those in alumni relations, development, and communications—who work on their behalf. CASE District I comprises six US states—stretching from Maine to Connecticut—and five Canadian provinces. Other awards announced at the same time included recognition of “rising stars” in development and alumni relations, CASE members who had completed 25 years of service in the field, and the “Distinguished Friend of Education Award,” given to Boston philanthropist Ted Cutler for his many years of volunteer service to Emerson College.