Founders' Day

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Awards are presented at the Founders' Day dinner to honorees who have made significant contributions in solving the challenges that will shape the world's future. Founders' Day 2020 also will feature an address by ASU President Michael M. Crow.

Nominations are now open
The Arizona State University Alumni Association celebrates Founders’ Day annually to showcase ASU faculty, staff, alumni and university supporters who exemplify the spirit of the founders of the Territorial Normal School of Arizona, ASU's predecessor institution. Nominations are open in the following categories:

Faculty Awards

Faculty Research Award will be presented to an ASU faculty member whose research has made significant contributions in any field including basic science, innovation, technology, business, law and public policy.
Faculty Service Award will be presented to an ASU faculty member whose services to the University and/ or the community has made a significant impact and contributed to the evolution of ASU as the New American University
Faculty Teaching Award will be presented to an ASU faculty member who delivers an educational experience that is impactful, and contributes to the overall learning of students.

Nominate a worthy ASU faculty member today

Alumni Awards

Alumni Achievement Award is presented annually to an alumnus/alumna who has excelled in his or her profession and has contributed to Arizona State University and/or the ASU Alumni Association and the community.
Young Alumni Achievement Award is presented annually to an alumnus/alumna who graduated from Arizona State University after 2005, has excelled in his or her profession and contributed to Arizona State University and/or the ASU Alumni Association and the community.

Nominate a worthy Sun Devil today


Tuesday, February 25

6 p.m. Reception

7 p.m. Dinner and awards ceremony


Complimentary valet service is offered in front of the Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom, or complimentary self-parking is available in the parking structure at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.


The Arizona Biltmore
Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom

2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85016


Business professional or business formal. ASU maroon and gold encouraged.

Make Founders’ Day your day!

In 2020, make ASU Founders’ Day your day in the spotlight. Capture the many benefits built into an enviable range of sponsorship opportunities.

Become a sponsor today!

Natalie Diaz, MFA

Faculty Research and Creativity Achievement Award

Erika Camacho, PhD

Faculty Service Achievement Award

Ian Gould, PhD

Faculty Teaching Achievement Award

Anne Jones, PhD

Faculty Teaching Achievement Award

Sky Kurtz

Young Alumni Achievement Award

Denise D. Resnik

Alumni Achievement Award

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Philanthropist of the Year Award

Arizona State University annually celebrates the vision and contributions of the institution's founders. A tradition known as Founders' Day, this signature event has taken place since 1964. ASU faculty, staff, alumni and advocates who exemplify the pioneering and innovative spirit of ASU’s founders are honored with excellence-in-achievement awards at the event.

Founders’ Day is celebrated each year in February or March, commemorating the first day of classroom instruction at the original Territorial Normal School in Tempe on Feb. 8, 1886.

founders day 1887

Opening day on Feb. 8, 1886

Today, Arizona State University is a leading public research university and an internationally prestigious higher education institution recognized by leading rankings publications and services. ASU launched the groundbreaking prototype of the New American University in 2002, and the ultimate journey from a simple schoolhouse to a world-class institution is a testament to the vision, tenacity and hard work of its founders, leaders, faculty, students and alumni through the years. Founders’ Day is a celebration of this founding spirit.

founder day territorial

Arizona Territorial Normal School

2019 Founders' Day Sponsors

Sustaining sponsor – $25,000

American Campus

Premier sponsors – $15,000

Herf Jones
Wells Fargo

Dinner sponsors – $8,000

Phoenix Business Journal
Liberty Mutual

Gold sponsors – $6,000

Ballard Spahr
Desert Financial
R B C Capital Markets
Sun Devil Campus Stores

Maroon sponsors – $4,000


Atmosphere Commercial Interiors

Hunt Construction Group


Sundt Construction


Maricopa Community Colleges

MidFirst Bank

The Opus Group

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Pitchfork sponsors

Anton Sport

ASU New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Arizona Coyotes

Arizona Diamondbacks

Benefits by Design

CASA Unlimited Enterprises



Derma Health

Desert Diamond Casino

Dircks Moving & Logistics

Meighan Harahan, SARRC Board

Chris Hill

Mark Kerrigan

Mirabella at ASU

ProCopy Office Solutions

Shamrock Farms


Southwest Gas

Sun Belt Holdings


Diane and Gary Tooker

United Healthcare

Valley Metro

YB Company

Award sponsors


Arrow Stage Lines

First Solar

Flex Technology Group

Christine and Don Wilkinson

Sparky sponsors

ASU Leadership Institute

Bret Giles

Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort

Los Angeles ASU Alumni Chapter

Maria and William Symington

Willmeng Construction