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Kirwan Award

Mentorship award recognizes those who encourage, inspire leadership in others

The William ‘Brit’ Kirwan Mentorship Award recognizes individuals who embody the exemplary capacity that Brit has shown for mentoring those who’ve assumed leadership roles throughout higher education. Recipients are those known throughout their community as “encouragers,” people who enhance career development in others, believing what Brit has shown by example: that proven leaders grow other leaders. They are actively involved in connecting communities, working toward common goals and inspiring others to serve.

William 'Brit' Kirwan

The award honors William ‘Brit’ Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland from August 2002 to July 2015. Brit is a nationally recognized authority on critical issues shaping the higher education landscape. He served as president of The Ohio State University for four years (1998–2002) and president of the University of Maryland, College Park, for 10 years (1988–1998). Prior to his presidency, he was a member of the University of Maryland faculty for 24 years. Brit has also served on the Internet2 Board of Trustees for over three years.  

“Brit’s long-standing contributions to higher education run the gamut from diversity and access to innovation and academic transformation,” said H. David Lambert, former president and CEO of Internet2. “Among his many accomplishments, his commitment to mentoring the next generation of higher education leaders stands out as one worthy of recognition through this award. At the same time, Brit’s service to Internet2 has been invaluable in shaping the organization’s direction at critical junctures in the R&E community’s evolution. We’re pleased to honor Brit by naming this annual award for him and his valued achievements.”

More details on the award can be found in the announcement press release.

2018 Call for Nominations

Nominations are being sought for the 2018 William ‘Brit’ Kirwan Mentorship Award, to be presented at the 2018 Internet2 Global Summit in San Diego, CA, May 6–9, 2018.

Recipients can be either active or retired members of the research and education community. Do you know someone who has proved a valuable mentor to you or others? Someone who has gone out of her way to encourage or inspire you as you built your career in higher education? A leader who devoted himself to building leadership skills within your community?

To be considered for the 2018 William ‘Brit’ Kirwan Mentorship Award, nominations must be submitted to Taylor Kopocis at The submission deadline will be posted here when available.

Brit Kirwan receives his eponymous award at the 2015 Global Summit – L to R: H. David Lambert, President and CEO, Internet2, Cornelius Kerwin, President, American University, Freeman Hrabowski, President of University of Maryland Baltimore County, William 'Brit' Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, David Lassner, President of the University of Hawai'i and Michael McRobbie, President of Indiana University