The Manny Cunard Scholarship supports the development of a student who is aspiring to enter the profession with the opportunity to attend the Annual Conference. The scholarship covers the cost of registration to the ACUI event. 

2023 Recipient: Brett Heckman,
University of South Alabama 

Brett Heckman serves as senator of the Student Government Association, where he was involved in writing legislation and bylaws as well as revisions to the university’s student handbook. As chair of the Campus Safety and Improvement Committee, he led initiatives that helped restore lighting on campus and enhance handicap accessibility, as well as collaborated with the university’s police department and the Title IX Oce. Heckman is honored to attend the ACUI Annual Conference to continue learning about the workings of a college union and to learn from the experiences of others in attendance. 

ACUI is not current accepting applications for this award. Please check back in 2024 for details on the next nomination period.

The nomination period for this award is no longer open. Check back in 2024 for details on the next nomination period.

Submission materials must include the following:

  1. Name, institution, and contact information of the applicant.
  2. A personal essay, written by the applicant, addressing (in 2,500 words or less):
    • Evidence that the applicant meets the criteria identified for this specific scholarship.
    • A summary of experiences related to advancing campus community, including positions or involvement the applicant has held on campus, in ACUI, and/or with other relevant organizations.
    • What activity is requested to be supported by the scholarship, including how the applicant would benefit from participation in the activity.
  3. Two to three letters in support of the applicant to receive the scholarship written by individuals such as direct supervisors/advisors, peers/colleagues, students, faculty members, etc.
  4. And an acknowledgement by the applicant that, if selected:
    • They are available to participate in the dates of the proposed activity.
    • They may receive a full or partial scholarship, and it is the obligation of the recipient or recipient’s institution to support additional expenses, including travel and lodging, required to participate in the activity.

The review process includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the criteria listed below. The applicant must:

  • Have demonstrated leadership experience and involvement in their campus community.
  • Articulate an interest in entering the college union/student activities profession.
  • Demonstrate potential benefit from professional development as an attendee at the Annual Conference.
  • Be supported through a nomination letter from a college union/student activities professional that is a member of ACUI. 

Degree-seeking students enrolled at an ACUI member institution who are not full-time employees at the institution are eligible for this award.

Electronic notification will be sent to confirm award submissions have been received. A confidential Individuals Awards and Scholarships Committee, appointed annually by the ACUI president, will review materials to make the selection. One recipient will be chosen, unless otherwise noted for the specific award. One physical award will be given to the recipient, who will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual conference and in subsequent publications.

  • 2022: Jordaan Houston, Georgia State University
  • 2021: Alejandro Garcia Morales, Florida International University
  • 2020: Spencer Vincent – Virginia Commonwealth University
  • 2019: Shannon Ferris – Albertus Magnus College
  • 2018: Blake Bratcher – University of Utah

About Manny Cunard

Manny Cunard has a passion for serving others. During his 50-year career directing student centers, activities programs, and auxiliary operations, Cunard excelled in his endeavors to advance campus community and serve the Association. Finishing his college union career as the director of the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University, he not only understood the college union idea—he exemplified it. Cunard served as president of ACUI in 1992, and he enthusiastically led many other initiatives for the association including chairing the Committee on Educational Programs and Services, the Development Fund Advisory Committee, and the 1984 St. Louis conference.

Cunard would argue that his greatest joy and contribution came from mentoring students. Throughout his career, he provided guidance and support to hundreds of students, many of which became colleagues in the profession. To establish this scholarship, friends and colleagues of Cunard contributed funds to the Education and Research Fund to provide an opportunity for a student and aspiring college union professional to attend the Annual Conference.