Peru State and World-Herald history book wins national award

Peru State and World-Herald history book wins national award

WASHINGTON, DC —The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) announced the winners of its 2018 Circle of Excellence awards. Nebraska’s First College: Shaping the Future since 1867, a history of Peru State College’s 150 years, won the gold award in its category. More than 3,700 institutions of higher education are members of CASE.

Nebraska’s First College was created in collaboration with the Omaha World-Herald and Dan Sullivan.  Sullivan was the author of the book and Christine Zueck-Watkins served as the designer.

Sullivan writes, “I am thrilled that the Council for Advancement and Support of Education chose to honor Nebraska’s First College: Shaping the Future Since 1867.”

“The award is a tribute to the rich history of Peru State College. It was an easy story to tell: from the vision and determination of the school’s founders in 1867, all the way to Peru State College today, as it shapes the leaders of tomorrow.”

The book blurb reads, “Peru State College celebrates its 150th year in 2017. The Nebraska school’s history is a rich tapestry of innovation, endurance, community service and pursuit of educational excellence. Celebrate the sesquicentennial with a look back through the remarkable story that began with a vision on a hilltop in Peru.”

Dan Sullivan, author of the new sesquicentennial history book of the College, signing books.

Dan Sullivan, author of the new sesquicentennial history book of the College, signing books during Homecoming activities.

Peru State College and its sister colleges are members of CASE through the Nebraska State College System.

“It is an honor for one of our colleges to receive a CASE Gold Award. Congratulations to the Peru State staff for their high-quality work on the Nebraska’s First College Shaping the Future Since 1867 book,” said Stan Carpenter, Chancellor for the Nebraska State College System.

“Peru State and the Nebraska State College System play rich and vital roles in Nebraska’s past, present and future.”

The judging comments read, “Inside the cover, the content is fun and interesting and, thanks to the varied page layout and content, easy to engage with – whether one wants to read a bit or a lot of the book.”

The international awards program honors outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing at colleges, universities, independent schools and affiliated nonprofits. Peer professionals at schools, colleges and universities as well as professionals from outside of education judged the entries.

The program received 3,204 entries for consideration in nearly 100 categories from 676 higher education institutions, independent schools and affiliated organizations located worldwide. Peru State College received the top prize for Institutional Relations Publications: Book.

Todd Simpson, CEO of the Peru State College Foundation, writes, “CASE is the preeminent association for higher education foundations and alumni programs in the world.  Receiving the 2018 Gold Award in the Circle of Excellence in the Institutional Relations Publications Books category from CASE for Peru State’s 150th anniversary history book “Nebraska’s First College:  Shaping the Future since 1867” is a tremendous honor.”

“The Peru State staff, along with Dan Sullivan and the Omaha World-Herald, did a marvelous job!”

Larry Green (center), chairman of the Peru State Foundation Board of Directors, accepts the ceremonial delivery of the first book from author Dan Sullivan (right) and President Dan Hanson.

Larry Green (center), chairman of the Peru State Foundation Board of Directors, accepts the ceremonial delivery of the first book from author Dan Sullivan (right) and President Dan Hanson.

Other contributors to the book included editors Jeff Alessandrelli, Wendi Buggi, Ted Harshbarger, Jason Hogue, Nicole Hilder, Rebecca Johnson, Amy Mincer, Rich Mills, Kathy Sullivan, Faith Thomas and Pam Thomas.  Jason Hogue and Michelle Kaiser were credited for additional research.

Illustrations of past and current campus buildings were done by Brandi Hull.  Photography credits included Angela Allgood, Wendi Buggi, Bill Clemente, Promise DeBilzan, Arlene Fell, Paul Fell, Ted Harshbarger, Jason Hogue, Brandi Hull, Rebecca Johnson, Malone and Co., the Peru State College Foundation, Becki Propst, Kent Propst, the Omaha World-Herald, Kellen Sailors, Dan Sullivan and Christine Zueck-Watkins.

A copy of the award-winning book can be purchased by visiting  Book purchases support the Peru State College Foundation’s mission to assist and support Peru State College’s programs and services including scholarships for hundreds of students.

A list of award winners from the current year’s competition is available at Judges’ reports, which outline the strengths and weaknesses of each category and why particular entries were chosen for recognition, are also posted on the website.

Sue Cunningham, president and CEO of CASE, says 2018 was another exceptional year for the awards program and commended this year’s recipients for their bold, innovative work that epitomizes the profession’s best practices.

“Our members once again have demonstrated their commitment to their organizations through their remarkable work,” says Cunningham. “This year’s award winners demonstrate creativity and strategy; I urge everyone to take a look – you will be inspired. Congratulations to all the Circle of Excellence award recipients. Your work is breathtaking.”

Made up of several of CASE’s long-time recognition programs, the Circle of Excellence awards program, in its present configuration, was introduced in 1994.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit