Northwestern professor awarded Reichenberger Fundraising Award

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Northwestern professor awarded Reichenberger Fundraising Award

Sept. 20, 2010

Northwestern Foundation Release

Donovan Reichenberger presented Dr. Aaron Mason, assistant professor of political science, with the Donovan Reichenberger Fundraising Award at the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Foundation Donor Dinner. Mason, the first to receive the award, was honored for helping secure a $100,000 endowed gift from the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, which created the NWOSU-Masonic Institute for Citizenship Studies.

Established in 2010 by the Northwestern Foundation, the Donovan Reichenberger Fundraising Award recognizes the private fundraising efforts of Northwestern Oklahoma State University faculty and staff. Named for Reichenberger and his example of generosity and fundraising service, the award honors an individual who seeks to further the mission and vision of the university, allowing continued prosperity during a critical time of diminishing state support.

Mason raised funds through personal visits, written communication and presentations and was credited for tapping a previously unexplored source of funding. In August 2009, he became aware of the activities of the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma. He began discussions with John Logan, assistant secretary of the MCFOK, and sent a proposal for the institute. The institute benefitted from Mason’s efforts when the MCFOK made the $100,000 gift in March.

“This gift is certainly in keeping with the generosity and foresighted nature of the Masonic Fraternity, which has from the inception of the nation, served as an invaluable source of inspiration for the foundations of American government and society,” Mason said.

The mission of the NWOSU-Masonic Institute for Citizenship Studies, led by executive directors Mason and Dr. Eric Schmaltz, associate professor of history, is to foster an ethos of constructive patriotism, public service and civic engagement. The institute seeks to promote the NWOSU Department of Social Sciences’ research efforts, including publishing activities and other initiatives designed to further the dissemination of knowledge within its respective departmental disciplines, to serve as a depository of archival records and materials in digital and print formats, and to engage in collaborative scholarship and other activities with other academic forums.

The MCFOK’s generous gift defrays costs associated with various student-run organizations such as Pi Sigma Alpha, Phi Alpha Theta and the Leviathan Society. It also assists in the promotion of the NWOSU Department of Social Sciences’ annual events, such as Constitution Day, the Cultural Heritage Lecture Series and the Presidential Lecture Series, as well as assisting in the promotion of University-sponsored conferences concerning United States politics, economics, sociology and history.

Mason said he was very grateful and flattered to receive the award.

“I would like to thank the MCFOK regarding its generosity for without their participation, none of this would have been possible,” Mason said. “Also, it is my hope that this award will draw attention to the activities of the institute and the initiatives it is promoting for the edification of the University and the greater Northwestern community.”

Other nominees for the award recognized at the Donor Dinner included Dr. Mike Knedler, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Bob Battisti, athletic director, and Kimberly Weast, associate professor of theatre. Knedler raised funds for the School of Arts & Sciences through written communication and personal visits. Battisti gained funding for athletics through personal solicitation, written communication and celebratory events. Weast secured gifts for theatre through one-on-one communication.

To be considered for the award, nominees must be full-time Northwestern employees, demonstrate excellent personal qualities and exemplify Northwestern values. Selection by the Northwestern Foundation Executive Committee is based on the total funds raised by the nominee, both pledged and realized; the average age and income of the alumni base from which the nominee raised the funds; the nominee’s university position and level of responsibility; and the sources of private gifts secured for Northwestern.

The prestigious award’s selection criteria reflect Reichenberger’s dedication to the university. A former Northwestern faculty member and 1965 alumnus, Reichenberger is one of the university’s most generous benefactors. He has served as chair of the Northwestern Foundation Investment Committee since 1994 and as a trustee since 1993.

For more information or to nominate Northwestern faculty or staff for the 2011 award, contact Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation CEO, at 580-327-8599, aebird@nwosu.edu or by mail at Northwestern Foundation Inc., 709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717.

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Cutline: Dr. Aaron Mason, assistant professor of political science at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, accepted the Donovan Reichenberger Fundraising Award presented by Donovan Reichenberger, Northwestern Foundation Investment Committee chair, at the Northwestern Foundation Donor Dinner.