Marie Tillman to Receive Prestigious Award from AAUW, NASPA

June 01, 2010


Lisa Goodnight,


Tillman Founded Pat Tillman Foundation Supporting Military Personnel and Families

WASHINGTON — Marie Tillman, founder and chair of the Pat Tillman Foundation, will receive the prestigious AAUW/NASPA Women of Distinction Award during the 2010 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. This year’s ceremony, which will take place at the University of Maryland, College Park (Grand Ballroom, Stamp Student Union), on Thursday, June 3, marks the 25th anniversary of the conference, which was established in 1985.

The 2010 Women of Distinction Awards pay tribute to leaders who have made extraordinary contributions in their professions or in their communities. In addition to Tillman, the following individuals will also be honored

    • Dorothy Height (in memoriam), chair and president emerita, National Council of Negro Women
    • Christina Lagdameo, deputy director, White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
    • Patti Solis Doyle, partner, Utrecht & Phillips, a Washington, D.C., law firm,and first Hispanic woman to run a major U.S. presidential campaign
    • Nomfundo Walaza, chief executive officer, Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town, South Africa

Tillman and the other 2010 Women of Distinction honorees join a prestigious group of more than 100 women who have been celebrated in conjunction with the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.

Founder and Chair of Pat Tillman Foundation
Marie Tillman’s life changed forever on April 22, 2004, when her husband was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. A professional football player with the Arizona Cardinals, Pat Tillman turned down a lucrative NFL contract to serve his country by joining the U.S. Army and becoming an elite Army Ranger.

After his death, Marie Tillman, along with her husband’s family and friends, established the Pat Tillman Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to invest in veterans and military families through education, community, and advocacy. As chair of the foundation’s board of directors, Marie Tillman works to expand awareness and raise funds for the foundation, which is now a national leader in providing educational resources and support to veterans, active service members, and their dependants.

According to the foundation, every year more than 300,000 troops complete their military service and return home to work or attend school. Even after passage of the latest G.I. Bill, many servicemembers and their dependents still lack the financial means to pursue their higher educational goals. In 2009, the Pat Tillman Foundation established the Tillman Military Scholars program and awarded $642,000 in scholarship support to 52 students at all levels of higher education from 21 universities across 16 states.

In 2008, the foundation completed a $1.25 million endowment to Pat’s alma mater, Arizona State University, where he was a standout football player and an academic all-American who graduated summa cum laude in three-and-a-half years with a degree in marketing. The Tillman Scholars – ASU program leads sophomore and junior students through a one-year “Leadership Through Action” program. Since the first class began in 2005, Tillman Scholars – ASU students have done amazing things, ranging from helping Native American kids on reservations succeed academically, to boosting recycling efforts on Arizona State’s campus and “greening” the annual Pat’s Run held each April in Tempe, Arizona. In 2009, in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the foundation awarded a one-time grant to 41 Tillman Social Action Scholars for student-led social action projects based around the world. Projects are diverse — from House a Hero, a program focused on helping homeless veterans in Austin, Texas, to Nepal NUTritionpeanut butter plan to combat malnutrition in Nepal while also boosting the local economy

2010 Conference Events and Sponsors
As part of this year’s 25th anniversary celebration of the conference and the awards program, a special reception will be held for current and former honorees. Several past winners, including Amy Richards, Soapbox: Speakers Who Speak Out, Inc.; Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught, USAF, president, Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Inc.; and Dorothy Gilliam, founder and director of the Prime Movers Media Program at the School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University, will attend this celebration.

The Ruth Z. Sweetser Honorary Fund and Prudential are the Platinum Sponsors of the 2010 National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. Other conference sponsors include the University of Maryland, College Park, and The Princeton Review.

Since 1985, the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders has provided a platform to help thousands of college and university women develop leadership skills, network with other student leaders, and interact with women who hold leadership positions. The conference is presented each June by AAUW and NASPA.


By:   |   June 01, 2010