The Legacy Leader Award recognizes individuals who have served as leaders within the college union profession and have worked throughout to advance campus community building. What makes this award unique is that it is a recognition by fellow ACUI members and colleagues of an individual’s impact on the field through their spirit and character.

By nominating an individual for this award, you agree to fundraise on their behalf. “Champions” will be provided with a toolbox of resources, and a member of the Education and Research Fund Program Team and staff at the ACUI Central Office will be assigned to help you reach your fundraising minimum of $2,500.


Kyle Burke is well-known and highly regarded throughout the Association. Comments from his peers, particularly those in Region V, consistently highlight his humor, kindness, and professionalism. Burke previously worked at Northeastern Illinois and is currently the director of university centers at University of Wisconsin–La-Crosse. Burke just concluded a term as Region V director; he also previously led the 2016 Region V Conference, was the regional student involvement coordinator, and was the recipient of the “Inspiring Vision for Mid-Level Student Affairs Professionals.”

On the international level, Burke volunteered on the ACUI Awards and Honors Naming Committee, served on the 2020 Conference Program Team, and was a hard-working member of the Education and Research Fund Program Team. One nominator wrote that “Kyle truly personifies the qualities and traits of a professional who embodies servant leadership and is truly deserving of the ACUI Legacy Leader Award.”


Jennifer Keegin is a dedicated volunteer, great mentor, and inspirational leader. Having worked at Loyola University and now at Binghamton University, Keegin has over 20 years in the field and has made an impact through volunteerism. In three different regions, Keegin served in a variety of capacities, including conference coordinator and web and social media coordinator. She served on the Board of Trustees from 2017–19, led the Volunteer Development Team and multiple communities of practice, was a member of the 2008 Conference Program Team and the Education and Research Fund Team.

Keegin is also a consistent Education and Research Fund donor and a member of the 1914 Society. One of her donors stated, “Your legacy, for me, is of ensuring everyone is made to feel welcome, at home, and befriended within ACUI.”

ACUI is not currently accepting nominations for this award. Please check back in 2024 for additional information about the next nomination period.

Burke (left) and Keegin (right)

Submission materials must include the following:

  1. Name and contact information of the nominator.
  2. Name and information about the nominee.
  3. A letter of nomination in support of the nominee to receive the award addressing a summary of how the candidate’s experience and achievements meet the criteria identified for this specific award.

ACUI is not currently accepting nominations for this award. Please check back in 2024 for additional information about the next nomination period.

  • Minimum of seven years of service to the college union and/or student activities profession.
  • Minimum of five years of leadership service to ACUI on a regional and/or international level.
  • Actively supports the mission of the Education and Research Fund through service and/or donations. 
  • Recognized by colleagues, friends, or students for extraordinary service to the field.
  • Membership in ACUI.

The Education and Research Fund Program Team will review all nominations, select the recipients, and notify nominators of the status of their nomination by mid-December. A physical award will be given to the recipients, who will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the Annual Conference and in subsequent publications.

  • Missy Burgess, University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh
  • Debra Hammond, California State University–Northridge
  •  Sharon “Chickie” Silverstein, Suffolk County College
  • Krista Harrell, University of South Alabama
  • Dwayne Isaacs, University of South Florida–St. Petersburg
  • Keith Kowalka, University of Houston
  • Tena Bennett, Southern Illinois University–Carbondale
  • Meg O’Sullivan, SUNY–Downstate Medical Center
  • Kerry Spicer, Daemen College