News Release from AASCU


Contact: Jennifer Walpole (202) 478-4665


Presidents and Their Spouses Participate in New Service-Learning Initiative

Washington, D.C.—In July of this year, 20 presidents/chancellors and their spouses gathered in Santa Fe, N.M. to participate in a new service-learning initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU): The AASCU Footprint Project. 

Held during the association’s annual Summer Council of Presidents meeting, the Footprint Project—conceived and developed by AASCU’s Spouse/Partner Program—affords the leadership of AASCU member institutions and their spouses/partners the opportunity to, through a hands-on volunteer activity in a local community, leave a lasting impression of AASCU’s commitment to Deliver America’s Promise. By helping with a community-identified need, those who participate learn from and give back to the host community. 

In its inaugural year, the AASCU Footprint Project partnered with the United Way of Santa Fe County and the Santa Fe Public Schools to bring participants to the Aspen Community Magnet School to spend the day interacting with children enrolled in a summer program. 

Participants engaged the children in a variety of learning activities, including placing pushpins on a map of the United States and talking about where they lived; using adobe bricks, pre-made by the children, to construct a model of a building around a courtyard; reading to and with the children; exploring the children’s vegetable and flower gardens; and using large geometric shapes to paint a mural on a wall leading to the school.  

Planning for the 2013 Footprints Project is already underway and will take place during the Summer Council of Presidents meeting in Annapolis, Md. 

2012 Footprint Participants: 

  • Esther Avery, spouse of President Reggie Avery, Coppin State University (Md.) 
  • Janice Beran, spouse of Chancellor Paul Beran, University of Arkansas - Fort Smith 
  • Connie Black, spouse of Chancellor Len Black, University of Minnesota Duluth 
  • LaVera Burnim, spouse of President Mickey Burnim, Bowie State University (Md.) 
  • President Tim Flanagan and Nancy Flanagan, Framingham State University (Mass.) 
  • Chancellor Dean Van Galen and Mary Van Galen, University of Wisconsin - River Falls 
  • President Ginny Horvath and Brooke Horvath, SUNY Fredonia 
  • Judy Ingle, coordinator of Spouse/Partner Program and Outreach, AASCU 
  • Mickey Howard, liaison to the Spouse/Partner Program, AASCU 
  • Chancellor Bernie Patterson and Cinda Patterson, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point 
  • Chancellor Dennis Shields and Aundra Shields, University of Wisconsin - Platteville 
  • Chancellor Dick Telfer and Roni Telfer, University of Wisconsin - Whitewater 
  • Cynthia Shepard, spouse of President Bruce Shepard, Western Washington University 
  • Alex O. Wood, former special assistant to the Spouse/Partner Program, AASCU 


AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.