ASU President's Club

Philanthropist of the Year Award

Presented by the ASU Foundation, the Philanthropist of the Year Award celebrates those whose generosity and philanthropic leadership further Arizona State University’s mission. Those recognized by this honor are exemplars of how individual giving can have a meaningful impact on social issues and people’s lives.

The ASU President’s Club, celebrating 40 years of investment in and innovation of ASU through university presidents, is this year’s recipient of the 2024 Philanthropist of the Year Award.

  • Originally founded in 1984 to focus on accelerating change and empowering solutions through their unrestricted support of ASU’s president.

  • Represents 500 active President’s Club innovators, including President’s Club Young Leaders, and business professionals 40 years and younger.

  • Provided funding for signature ASU projects, including Biodesign Institute, the ASU California Center and SolarSPELL.

Forty years ago, to increase funding for the university, ASU President J. Russell Nelson and ASU Foundation President Lonnie Ostrom created the ASU President’s Club. An organization of supporters and fearless innovators, the President’s Club focuses on accelerating change and empowering solutions through their unrestricted support of ASU’s president. Nelson and Ostrom gathered a handful of passionate visionaries to kick off the President’s Club including Bob and Carol Bulla, Bob and Karen Hobbs, Nap and Barbara Lawrence, Frank and June Sackton, and Bob and Ruth Wilson. Together, they began a tradition of forward-thinking support that has built momentum through the tenures of three ASU presidents: Nelson, Lattie F. Coor, and current president, Michael M. Crow.

What started as a small group of advocates committed to helping ASU, has grown to a contingent of over 500 active President’s Club innovators and includes President’s Club Young Leaders, business professionals 40 years and younger eager to advance the ASU vision of a New American University. President’s Club has had a transformative impact on the university community and the globe in its 40 years. One of its earliest endeavors was creating an endowment to provide scholarships based on financial need, academic success, community service, and university involvement. Financial support extends far beyond student support. 

As the President’s Club has grown, so has its impact, providing funding for hundreds of projects and initiatives locally and globally supporting ASU’s Charter. Projects like the Biodesign Institute, the ASU California Center, Dreamscape, the ASU/Mayo Clinic partnership, SolarSPELL, and a partnership with Tecnologico de Monterrey were either started or accelerated, along with an expanded ASU presence in Hawaii, California, Korea, and Europe in part with support from President’s Club. The President’s Club holds a special role at the university. It is advanced by an esteemed group of individuals who embrace and elevate ASU’s Charter and energize the university to excel.