Recipients of the first Student Affairs Legacy Awards, from left, Ed Hammond, Dennis Golden, Denise Gifford, Michael Cuyjet and Tom Jackson.

This Division of Student Affairs celebrated its 40th Anniversary during homecoming weekend, welcoming back former staff and students to recognize the enduring contributions of the past vice presidents of student affairs that have led to four decades of progress to support student success.

The highlight of the weekend was an awards ceremony celebrating each of the past vice presidents of student affairs. The five past leaders were honored with the inaugural Student Affairs Legacy Awards.

Criteria for the award included three or more of the following:

  • Ardent advocate for the welfare of UofL students
  • Excellence in efforts to support student affairs professionals
  • Innovative approach to changing environment
  • Sustained pattern of dedication to the University of Louisville community

Honorees this year include:

Ed Hammond, the first vice president of student affairs at UofL and the longest serving president of Fort Hays State University. Hammond is responsible for the development of the Swain Student Activities Center and the creation of the Woodford R. Porter Scholarship program, as well as the creation of the UofL marching band.

Denny Golden, vice president of student affairs (1988-1994) and president of Fontbonne University. Golden established the Torchbearer Program, completed the construction of the Student Activities Center, and changed the name of Confederate Hall to University Tower Apartments, among many other accomplishments.

Denise Gifford, vice president of student affairs (1996-2005) and current associate provost and dean of students at Widener University. Gifford created the International Service Learning Program (ISLP), increased campus residents by 40 percent, and rapidly increased the overall engagement and involvement of students.

Michael Cuyjet, interim vice president of student affairs (2005-2007). Cuyjet served as an ambassador for Student Affairs while also maintaining his role as College Student Personnel faculty member at the College of Education and Human Development, where he retired as professor emeritus and has been a key ISLP faculty member. There, he led the charge in a unique international experience in Trinidad & Tobago that allows graduate students studying Student Affairs to connect globally with their future profession.

Tom Jackson, Jr., vice president of student affairs (2007-2014) and current president at Black Hills State University. Jackson helped develop UofL’s partnership with Cardinal Towne which changed UofL from a commuter to a residential campus. He also helped stabilize and dramatically expand ISLP and paved the way for the new student recreation center to be built.

The past vice presidents answered various questions from both the audience and the master of ceremonies, Michael Mardis, the current vice provost for student affairs and dean of students. The discussion included their success during their time at UofL, impact of Student Affairs on student success and the future of Student Affairs in higher education.


Bria Staten-Favors
Bria Staten-Favors is the Graduate Assistant in the University of Louisville’s Office of Communications and Marketing. After completing her bachelor of science in Communication, she decided to pursue her master’s degree at UofL as well. She also works in the Partnership Division at the Louisville Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and is an avid Cards fan.