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President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20 recognized by TIAA Institute for excellent leadership in higher education

Award in honor of former Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh

The award highlighted Paxson's work to expand research, inclusion and economic development in the University. 

Courtesy of Nick Dentamaro
The award highlighted Paxson's work to expand research, inclusion and economic development in the University. Courtesy of Nick Dentamaro

On April 15, President Christina Paxson P’19 P’MD’20 received the 2023 Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Washington, D.C. 

Head of the TIAA Institute Surya Kolluri and American Council on Education President Ted Mitchell presented Paxson with the award during ACE’s annual meeting, according to a University press release

Paxson was selected for her work “to solidify Brown's standing as a leading research university, increase access and inclusion across campus and fuel economic development through community and government partnerships,” according to the TIAA website.

Sponsored by the TIAA Institute and administered by ACE, the award is presented to a “current college or university president or chancellor for outstanding leadership of their institution and broad impact on higher education and society,” the press release reads. The award’s creation was inspired by former University of Notre Dame President Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, a civil rights leader who served on the TIAA Board of Overseers for 28 years


The press release highlights how Paxson has led University initiatives focused on improving “health, education and economic well-being” for community members, as well as her work on The Brown Promise and Brown’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

Kolluri said that TIAA is “proud to recognize President Paxson’s strategic vision of ongoing transformation,” adding that Paxson “truly embodies the Hesburgh spirit.”

Mitchell commended Paxson as “an innovative higher education leader.”

“She has an unflagging dedication to the transformative power of higher education that would be appreciated by the legendary leader in whose name we honor her,” he added.

Paxson said she felt “honored to receive this award celebrating the legacy of Father Hesburgh and his commitment to education and service,” according to the press release.

“This award is reflective of Brown’s mission to make a positive impact on the community, the nation and the world by advancing knowledge and understanding and preparing students to address the world’s most pressing challenges,” she added.


Sofia Barnett

Sofia Barnett is a University News editor overseeing the faculty and higher education beat. She is a junior from Texas studying history and English nonfiction and enjoys freelancing in her free time.

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