The 1998 Distinguished Service Award is being presented to Helen Giles-Gee in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contributions to the Society for College and University Planning. The Society is pleased to present Helen with this award, acknowledging her significant influence in establishing the organizational foundation that has allowed SCUP to flourish as a professional society in recent years.
Like many SCUP volunteers, Helen began her volunteer commitment to SCUP at the regional level, serving as the communications coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic region, serving on regional conference committees, and making presentations at regional conferences. She also served on the program committee for SCUP25 in Atlanta in 1990.
Helen was elected to the SCUP Board of Directors and served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative from 1990 to 1992. During her tenure as regional representative, she set a high standard for regional activities. Under her leadership, the region developed multiple program events to serve a variety of geographic locations in the region, published both regional newsletters and the proceedings of regional meetings, and provided opportunities for many members to become actively involved at the regional level. She played a key role in defining and strengthening the role of the regions within SCUP, recognizing the need to provide quality programs and services at the local level as well as on a Society-wide basis. She also served as the first regional representative on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.
In 1992, Helen was elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors beginning as president-elect, serving as presdient in 1993-94, and then as immediate past president. She was a significant contributor to the strategic plan adopted by the Society in 1994, serving as an active member of the Strategic Planning Task Force during her presidential term and refocusing the attention of the board and the Society on actions necessary to attain SCUP’s vision as the leading organization focused on planning in higher education. SCUP colleagues who served on the board with Helen during this period remember her quiet strength, determination, and inspirational leadership in moving the Society to achieve a new level of member services and in undertaking fundamental restructuring of the organization and its operations.
Helen’s professional career has provided her with a variety of perspectives on higher education planning. This month, Helen moved from Maryland to New York, assuming a new role as dean of the School of Professional Studies at the State University of New York at Cortland. From 1991 until 1998, she served as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and director of articulation for the University of Maryland System. She also served as executive assistant to the president and professor of biology at Towson State University and as chairperson and director of research of the Department of Biology at Cheyney University.
On behalf of the Society, the board of directors extends it congratulations and sincere thanks to Helen Giles-Gee, our colleague and friend, for her distinguished service to SCUP.