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Internet2 Establishes William ‘Brit’ Kirwan Mentorship Award in Honor of University System of Maryland Chancellor

Posted on May 15, 2015 by Angela Stark
Tags: 2015 Global Summit, Frontpage News, Higher Education, Leadership
Brit Kirwan at the Internet2 Global Summit. Credit: Internet2/Jocelyn Augustino

William “Brit” Kirwan at the
Internet2 2015 Global Summit.
Credit: Internet2/Jocelyn Augustino.

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2015—Internet2 has announced the establishment of a new award, honoring the lifelong contributions of the chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM). The Internet2 William “Brit” Kirwan Mentorship Award will be presented annually, beginning in 2016, to a member of the Internet2 community who embodies the spirit of Kirwan’s role as a mentor to countless professionals in the research and education (R&E) community. He is well known for his ability to connect people in higher education and inspire others, and for giving his time to serve the community. Kirwan, a long-time Internet2 supporter and member of its Board of Trustees, will step down from his USM chancellorship next month.

“Brit’s long-standing contributions to higher education run the gamut from diversity and access to innovation and academic transformation,” said H. David Lambert, president and CEO of Internet2. “Amongst 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.”

Kirwan, a nationally recognized authority on critical issues shaping the higher education landscape, has served as chancellor of USM since 2002. 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.

Among Kirwan's many honors are the 2010 TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence—one of the nation's top higher education honors—and the 2009 Carnegie Corporation Leadership Award. Kirwan is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.

He received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and his master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

At Internet2, Kirwan has served on the Board of Trustees since 2009. While on the Board he has been an engaged trustee, providing insight and advice to the Internet2 leadership, including chairing the Special Committee on the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), which played a key role in securing Internet2’s successful BTOP award in 2010—laying the foundation for one of the world’s most advanced global networks today.

The formal announcement of the Kirwan Mentorship Award was made at last month’s Internet2 Global Summit in Washington, D.C. There, several colleagues—including the presidents of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, American University, Indiana University and the University of Hawaii—paid tribute to his accomplishments.

About Internet2
Internet2® is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions. Internet2 also operates the nation’s largest and fastest, coast-to-coast research and education network, in which the Network Operations Center is powered by Indiana University. Internet2 serves more than 90,000 community anchor institutions, 260 U.S. universities, 65 government agencies, 40 regional and state education networks, 85 leading corporations working with our community and more than 65 national research and education networking partners representing more than 100 countries. Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Emeryville, Calif.; Washington, D.C; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.