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Founders' Day

Save the date: Join ASU Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, to celebrate the 60th Founders’ Day at the new Omni Tempe Hotel at ASU.

Founders' Day 2023

In front of a record-breaking crowd of nearly 980 community leaders, business executives and Arizona State University alumni on March 2, the 2023 Founders’ Day Awards program honored ASU alumni, faculty members and benefactors for their distinguished achievements.

Founders’ Day 2023 celebrated seven honorees who exemplify the spirit of ASU’s founders and the university charter. Among them were the first female director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an alum whose medical device has helped thousands of infants survive jaundice, and a faculty member who led the conversion of ASU’s Biodesign Clinical Testing Laboratory into a COVID-19 testing facility that administered more than 1 million tests.

Register for Founders' Day 2024 here! 

Register for Founders' Day 2024



Founders' Day, a rich tradition

Every February or March, Arizona State University celebrates Founders' Day, commemorating the first day of classroom instruction at the original Territorial Normal School in Tempe on Feb. 8, 1886. 

Founders’ Day is ASU’s signature event honoring the changemakers whose pioneering achievements and visionary philanthropy have shaped ASU’s spirit of excellence and innovation. It's a time to learn more about the breakthrough research, philanthropy and community work that is driving the future of ASU and the world, to honor the university's growth from humble beginnings to the model of a New American University. Every year, we celebrate some of the ASU alumni, faculty and staff who have contributed to this success. You can learn more about this year's honorees as you scroll down the page. 

Now that Founders' Day 2023 is in the record books, save the date for Founders' Day 2024. Join ASU on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024, to celebrate the 60th Founders’ Day at the new Omni Tempe Hotel at ASU.


Faculty Awards nominationsAlumni Awards nominations


2023 honorees

Founders Day 2023 honorees

ASU Founders' Day 2023 award recipients (from left): Vivek Kopparthi, Sara Brownell, Laurie Leshin, Peter Buseck, Karen Mossberger, Carolyn Compton and Bennett and Jacquie Dorrance of The Dorrance Family Foundation. Photo by Tim Trumble.



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.

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.

Past Award Recipients


It takes many partners to support Founders’ Day and we are grateful for each of our Founders’ Day sponsors!

Sustaining Sponsors

Premier Sponsors

Dinner Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Maroon Sponsors

Pitchfork Sponsors


  • AAA
  • Albertsons, Safeway and Vons
  • Alumni Leadership Institute 
  • Andrew Cohn
  • Anton Sports
  • ASU - Office of the Senior Vice President and Secretary of the University
  • ASU Knowledge Enterprise
  • ASU Preparatory Academy
  • Benefits by Design/Chris Hill
  • Christine and Don Wilkinson
  • Circle K
  • CopperPoint Mutual
  • CORE Construction



  • CPI
  • Denise Resnik Associates
  • Dircks Moving & Logistics
  • Duffy Group
  • Goodmans
  • Great Hearts
  • Tracy and Gregg Brewster 
  • Maricopa County Colleges 
  • Pat Tillman Veterans Center
  • Phoenix Raceway
  • Southwest Gas
  • Tiffany and Bosco, P.A. 
  • Uhaul
  • Via West Group
  • Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions