While serving as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Ernest Boyer called for a “New American college,” referring to institutions that integrate liberal arts, professional programs, and civic engagement to graduate professionals that are prepared to address society’s social, economic, and cultural challenges. Shortly after that conference, those institutions formed the Associated New American Colleges, now known as the New American Colleges and Universities or NACU.

Ernest L. Boyer Award

Ernest Boyer

In 2011, NACU established the prestigious Ernest L. Boyer Award, which is given annually to honor Boyer’s impact on American education and to recognize those in higher education who have made significant contributions through their scholarship and leadership. Recipients of the Boyer Award include: Eboo Patel, Freeman Hrabowski III, Nancy Cantor, Frederick M. Lawrence, Jose Antonio Bowen, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Cathy N. Davidson, Ira Harkavy, Edward L. Ayers, Carol Geary Schneider, Betsy Barefoot and John Gardner, and Alexander and Helen Astin. Learn more about our past recipients.

Boyer Award Society

In 2020, NACU created the Boyer Award Society to raise support for sustaining the legacy of Ernest Boyer through this award. The Boyer Award Society is comprised of institutions that are committed to sustaining Boyer’s legacy. For information on joining the Boyer Award Society, please contact Sean Creighton.