Founders' Day dinner

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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 2019 also will feature an address by ASU President Michael M. Crow.

Register now


Wednesday, March 20

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.

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Faculty Research and Creativity Achievement Award, 2019
Natalie Diaz, MFA
ASU Associate Professor, Department of English, Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellow, Lannan Literary Fellow, and Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow

Faculty Service Achievement Award, 2019
Erika Camacho, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Faculty Teaching Achievement Award, 2019
Anne Jones, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Molecular Sciences; Associate Director of Academic Affairs

Faculty Teaching Achievement Award, 2019
Ian Gould, PhD
President’s Professor, School of Molecular Sciences; Associate Director of Outreach, Online and Communications

Young Alumni Achievement Award, 2019
Sky Kurtz
Founder and CEO, Pure Harvest
Entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR), Shorooq Investments
Co-founder, Vence
Arizona State University; ’04 BS finance, summa cum laude

Alumni Achievement Award, 2019
Denise Resnik
Founder and CEO, DRA Collective
Co-Founder and Emeritus Board Member, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center
President, CEO and Board Member, First Place Phoenix
Arizona State University: ’82 BS general business administration

Philanthropist of the Year Award, 2019
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

Past winners

Nancy Gonzales, PhD

ASU Foundation Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

ASU Foundation Professor Nancy Gonzales, a 1984 graduate of ASU (BS, psychology), is the 2018 recipient of the Founders’ Day Faculty Research Achievement Award.

In tandem with large teams of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and research scientists, Professor Gonzales’ work views culture in a broad and multi-dimension fashion, spanning biological to broader community levels of influence. An award-winning clinical psychologist, she is recognized for her ability to explore and explain when, how and why some students are more successful in their educational endeavors than others, and what society might do to help.

The value of her work, says Patrick Kenney, ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences dean and Foundation Professor, is its ability to be translated from basic, theoretically motivated and empirically rigorous research findings to outcomes improving the lives of young people as they grapple with their educational experiences and other challenges in life. As evidence of the value of her discovery, findings demonstrate that young people working with her programs in Arizona have fewer problems, such as drug and alcohol abuse, and are more likely to stay in school. These insights are now being transported to other locations in California, North Carolina and Nicaragua.

“Her research resonates directly with the twin pillars of access and excellence of the New American University,” says Dean Kenney. “She is striving to improve the college-going rate of many students of color, not only in Arizona but across the nation, and she is driven by the excellence in her own research. Her work represents the epitome of locating the intersection between top‐tier scholarship and its applicability to people’s everyday lives.”

Nancy Gonzales, PhD

Faculty Research Achievement Award

Gerald Heydt, PhD

Regents’ Professor, Advanced Energy Technology Professor, School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering | Distinguished Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

ASU Regents’ Professor Gerald Heydt, a world-recognized academic whose seminal work in power engineering has impacted the industry, academia and countless students over four decades, is the 2018 recipient of the Founders’ Day Faculty Service Achievement Award.

“Dr. Heydt is the faculty embodiment of the New American University charter,” says Kyle Squires, senior sustainability scientist and dean of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, adding, “He and his colleagues have grown the Fulton Engineering power program into the largest and most prominent in the country. His leadership has helped attract other top faculty and students to attend ASU.”

An ASU Regents’ Professor — the highest faculty honor awarded by the university — Professor Heydt is well-known for his tireless work and passion for power engineering that he willingly shares with students, connections that run deep and create lasting impacts on their university and professional careers. He is the namesake and a leading donor for the Dr. Gerald Heydt Fellowship for Power Engineering, an endowed fellowship living in perpetuity for graduate students in the field of study.

A professor of advanced technology at ASU, he is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and a life fellow of IEEE who has been recognized as the organization’s Power Engineering Educator of the Year and recipient of the prestigious Kauffmann Award. He has served as program manager for the National Science Foundation’s program for power engineering and has worked with the United Nations Development Program to help countries achieve sustainable development.

“He is not your average faculty member,” says Dean Squires. “He is a world-class researcher with global impact who cares about the future through each and every student he interacts with at ASU.”

Gerald Heydt, PhD

Faculty Service Achievement Award 

Ariel D. Anbar, PhD

ASU President’s Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration and School of Molecular Sciences | Distinguished Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability | Director, ASU Center for Education Through eXploration | Co-director, ASU PlanetWorks ASU President’s Professor Ariel Anbar, an ASU scientist and educator interested in Earth’s past and future as an inhabited world, and the possibility of life beyond, is the 2018 recipient of the Founders’ Day Faculty Teaching Achievement Award.

Professor Anbar’s leadership is manifest in his diverse and dedicated teaching efforts in the online education space, which have earned him accolades from educators and learners alike.

His innovative contributions revolve around the development of next-generation adaptive digital learning experiences. Included in these are interactive virtual field trips to scientifically important locations around the world, simulation-based learning experiences in Earth and space sciences, and online courses such as “Habitable Worlds” and “BioBeyond.” These learning experiences are created by Anbar and his partners working with the diverse and dedicated team of learning designers, technologists, students and staff in ASU’s Center for Education through eXploration, which he directs.

These experiences enable students to learn by using logic and reasoning to solve problems and navigate uncertainties at the frontier of knowledge. The goal is not just to teach facts and concepts, but for tomorrow’s decision-makers to understand the power, processes and limitations of science.

Professor Anbar leads the development of a new theory of digital-learning design to advance online learning beyond the mastery of what is known to the exploration of the unknown — embracing higher-order skills of question-asking, problem-solving and persistence. ETX theory is emerging as a centerpiece of ASU’s next-generation vision of online education.

Says one of Professor Anbar’s nominators, “His vision, inspiration and encouragement of those around him — both students and faculty — make him a leader in the future of science education both at ASU and across the nation.”

Ariel D. Anbar, PhD

Faculty Teaching Achievement Award 

Robert Page Jr., PhD

University Provost Emeritus | Regents’ Professor, Foundation Chair of Life Sciences | Founding Director, School of Life Sciences | Distinguished Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability

ASU Regents’ Professor Robert E. Page Jr. is the 2018 recipient of the James W. Creasman Award of Excellence, awarded for his contributions to the ASU Alumni Association, the university and its many communities.

From ASU faculty to university leadership and from external educators to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences development office, Professor Page has drawn the highest praise for his service, commitment and accomplishments. Says one nominator of Professor Page, one of the world’s foremost honey bee geneticists and a top research expert in the evolution of complex social behavior, “Rob combines outstanding service to the university with a unique ability to advance a vibrant research program and to remain an international leader in his research field.”

The founding director of ASU’s School of Life Sciences in 2004, Professor Page has been ASU vice provost and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as provost of the university. His advocacy on behalf of ASU is well-documented and has helped advance the university’s recent Campaign ASU 2020. “He has helped ASU make great strides,” says ASU alum and Senior Director of Development Bill Kavan. “He has invested in staff and resources, plus dedicated his own precious time to philanthropic efforts. His impact across so many areas at ASU over the years unequivocally ensures his selection for this well-deserved honor.”

“Rob’s great strength is his honesty and forthrightness; his commitment to giving to others,” says ASU Regents’ and Professor’s Professor Jane Maienschien of the School of Life Sciences. “As (school and college) director, and as provost, he embraces every student and helps every one of them find a way to succeed — that kind of service doesn’t feel like service, but it is extremely important for making ASU what it is.”

Robert E. Page Jr., PhD

James W. Creasman Award of Excellence 

Sambo “Bo” Dul

Counsel | Perkins Coie LLP

Arizona State University: ’05 BA political science, ’05 BS economics, ’05 BA Spanish | ’05 Summa cum laude | ’05 Phi Beta Kappa

Arizona State University three-degree, summa cum laude graduate Sambo “Bo” Dul is the 2018 recipient of the Founders’ Day Young Alumni Achievement Award.

“Every so often in life you come across a truly transformative person, a person so good and so smart that the best thing you can do is stand in awe,” says Paul Eckstein, partner at Perkins Coie, where Bo is counsel in the firm’s Political Law Group. “I stand in awe of Bo Dul every day.”

From a refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border, Bo made her journey to Arizona with her mother and three siblings when she was just five years old — fleeing the aftermath of the brutal Khmer Rouge genocide. Upon her graduation from ASU, she earned her MPA at Princeton and her JD from the New York University School of Law.

In addition to her work at Perkins Coi, Bo is a leading advocate in the community. She recently launched the Phoenix Legal Action Network (PLAN), which is working to increase access-to-justice and pro bono legal services while providing strategic support to community-based organizations advancing social justice in Arizona. Further reflections of her commitment to providing solutions to legal-service gaps in the Greater Phoenix area include her service on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and her pro bono work with the International Rescue Committee and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. She has also served as a regional refugee coordinator for Amnesty International USA and its legislative coordinator for Arizona.

“Fill your days with work you care about and that interests you,” she advises. “Surround yourself with people who inspire and encourage you, and try to find joy in small things. Be kind, both to yourself and others.”

Sambo “Bo” Dul

Young Alumni Achievement Award 

Missy M. Farr-Kaye

Head coach, ASU women’s golf

Arizona State University: ’90 BS communication

Arizona State University women’s golf head coach Missy Farr-Kaye is the 2018 recipient of the ASU Founders’ Day Alumni Achievement Award.

For 16 years a Sun Devils women’s golf coach — she is now into her third season as head of the storied program — her leadership résumé is the stuff of legends. She mastered a unique trifecta 2017, winning her third NCAA national championship as a Devil — as a player in 1990, as an assistant coach in 2009, as head coach in 2017.

Since beginning her coaching career at ASU, Coach Farr-Kaye’s Sun Devil golfers have accomplished the following:

  • 2 NCAA National Team Championships: 2009, 2017.
  • 2 Pac-10 Conference Team Championships: 2007, 2009.
  • NCAA Individual Champions Azahara Munoz, 2008; Monica Vaughn, 2017.
  • 30 Tournament team titles.
  • 16 Golfers named to a total of 20 All-American teams.
  • 45 All-Conference honorees, including 24 first team selections.
  • 4 Pac-12 Golfers of the Year.
  • 44 WGCA/NGCA Academic All-Americans.
  • Three NGCA/WGCA Freshmen of the Year.

Her 2017 national championship team marked ASU’s U.S.-best eighth such title, and she was named Golf Pride Grips WGCA National Coach of the Year, Golfweek National Coach of the Year, West Region Coach of the Year, and Pac-12 Coach of the Year. In the classroom, her student-athletes have earned a conference-leading four Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year selections.

“This is my dream job in every sense of the word,” says Coach Farr-Kaye. “I grew up playing junior golf at Papago Golf Course. I graduated from Arizona State and won an NCAA title under Linda Vollstedt. To become the head women’s golf coach of my alma mater is the pinnacle of my career.”

Missy M. Farr-Kaye

Alumni Achievement Award 

The Fulton family

Members of the Fulton family are being honored as the 2018 Founder’s Day Philanthropists of the Year for their vision, leadership and commitment to advance Arizona State University and the New American University. As a catalyst for the acceleration of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College — along with investments across the university, from athletics to performing arts — the Fulton family invests in ASU to inspire students, alumni and friends at the university and around the world.

Their investments have created a living legacy of engagement, support and mentoring on campus. Beyond the contributions of more than $160 million to ASU, the Fulton family devotes valuable time and energy to the advancement of students, faculty and leadership on campus and in our community.

From their first moments at ASU, engineering and education students are welcomed by Ira A. Fulton and family; students are encouraged to take advantage of ASU’s resources for success and reminded that "College is not a time to find yourself, but to create yourself."

The Fulton family also supports ASU through leadership representation on the Trustees of ASU, the ASU Foundation Board of Directors, the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Campaign Board, the ASU President’s Club and the ASU Sun Devil Club.

Born near downtown Tempe in 1931, Ira A. Fulton grew up defining his own work ethic. At age six, he became a dishwasher in his mother’s café and eventually became the number one newspaper distributor for the Arizona Republic.

After attending Arizona State University on a football scholarship, Ira married Mary Lou Henson and went to work for National Cash Register. While at NCR, he rose to the heights of National Salesman of the Year.

In 1974, Ira became a consultant for Eagleson’s Big and Tall men’s clothiers. With the help of his son Doug and son-in-law Norm Nicholls, Ira purchased the company and brought it back from the edge of bankruptcy, growing the company to great success. Together the Fulton team expanded Eagleson’s to 33 retail stores, with gross sales in the millions.

In 1980, Ira and Norm took over Aston Construction, a family building company that would go on to become Fulton Homes. After the sale of Eagleson’s, Ira, Doug and Norm accelerated Fulton Homes from building several homes a year to become one of the largest family owned home builders in the country, living the motto, “You’re proud to own, and we are proud to build.”

The Fulton family

Philanthropist of the Year Award
Presented by the ASU Foundation For a New American University  

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

2018 Founders' Day Sponsors

Sustaining sponsor – $25,000

American Campus

Premier sponsors – $15,000

Herff Jones
Wells Fargo

Dinner sponsors – $8,000

Liberty Mutual
Phoenix Business Journal

Gold sponsors – $6,000

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

Maroon sponsors – $4,000

Atmosphere Commercial Interiors and Steelcase
Hunt Construction and Sundt Construction
Century Link
Maricopa Community Colleges
Midfirst Bank
Mirabella at Arizona State University
The Opus Group
Perkins Coie Counsel to Great Companies
Power Parasol
Stanley Convergent Security Solutions, Inc.

Pitchfork sponsors



Arizona Diamondbacks

Dircks Moving & Logistics



Studio Ma

Tek Systems

Diane and Gary Tooker

Valley Metro

Award sponsors

Fry’s Food Stores

Fasturtle Digital

Tracy and Gregg Brewster

Charles Byron Duckworth

Sandy and Andy Hanshaw

Christine and Don Wilkinson

Sparky sponsors

Dunn Transportation

Eddie DeVall

Robert Richard Gruman

Los Angeles ASU Alumni Chapter

Bruce William Parker

Herbert Robertson

Maria and William Symington