President Bottoms Receives CASE V Chief Executive Leadership Award
July 14, 2000
July 14, 2000, Greencastle, Ind. - Robert G. Bottoms, president of DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind. has been named the 2000 recipient of the CASE V Chief Executive Leadership Award. The award is in recognition of his "outstanding leadership and distinguished record of success" as president for the past 14 years. The competition, sponsored by the Council of Advancement and Support for Education, the organization for communications, development and alumni relations in education, was held this spring. The selection committee sought nominations of college and university presidents, headmasters and system heads from all over the country. President Bottoms was recognized as the leading executive in the Great Lakes District that represents the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.
DePauw's nomination efforts for the CASE V award were led by Timothy H. Ubben from Chicago, retired chairman of Lincoln Capital Management, and current chair of the DePauw University Board of Trustees. Dr. Bottoms' nomination was also endorsed by Ian M. Rolland of Fort Wayne, Ind., retired chairman of Lincoln National Corporation, Eugene L. Delves of Chicago, retired partner of Andersen Consulting, Nancy Michael, mayor of the city of Greencastle, and Paul Hartman, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at DePauw.
The Chief Executive Leadership Awards for all eight CASE districts will be presented at the CASE International Assembly on July 15 in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Bottoms will attend the Toronto ceremony; he will also be honored at the District V Conference in Chicago in mid December.
In his nomination letter, DePauw Board Chair Ubben referred to President Bottoms as a "giant in educational development."
As a member of the Board for 12 years and now as chair of the Board, Ubben has observed the President at work for some time. "Dr. Bottoms has shown the vision and courage to challenge the status quo in the interest of establishing a better institution." Two areas of particular accomplishment, noted Ubben, have been in increasing the diversity of the campus and affecting student acclimation to college life.
"From a very homogeneous student body and faculty in the mid-'80s, minorities now represent 15-17% of all students. And he set the example for the faculty by hiring two African-American vice presidents."
Four years ago President Bottoms also committed DePauw to become a university partner with the Posse Foundation, a New York City-based student leadership and admissions initiative that recruits students from New York's rich multi-racial and multi-cultural landscape in its public high schools. The foundation provides a pre-college orientation and support system that enables these young people to attend and successfully graduate from some of the nation's finest liberal arts institutions. Next May, DePauw will graduate its first Posse students who have been retained at a 90% rate.
In her endorsement of Bottoms' nomination for the CASE V award, Greencastle mayor Nancy Michael remarked that Dr. Bottoms, "aware of the symbiotic relationship between the university and the community of Greencastle, inspires others to permeate the boundaries between them.
"Dr. Bottoms has also created an environment and a situation where faculty and staff are encouraged to involve themselves in the community. This involvement can be seen in the number of DePauw professors and staff who sit on various community/governmental boards and councils. This enthusiastic involvement has helped to create a community of values and higher learning which is essential to the success of any small town."
During their tenures as chair of the Board of Trustees, both Ian Rolland and Eugene Delves worked closely with President Bottoms. They remember Bottoms' early leadership through a period of tight finances and limited resources. These former chairs join current chair Ubben in celebrating the new possibilities ahead of DePauw achieved through its recent completion of The Campaign for DePauw: Leadership for a New Century due in large part to the exceptional fundraising skills of President Bottoms and his ability to articulate the mission of the University to over 17,000 contributors. In April 2000, after just four years and from an original goal of $154 million, the University reached a final total of over $374.5 million, the most successful campaign of any small liberal arts college in the history of higher education.
"This campaign has produced financial resources which will enable DePauw to advance to the next level of excellence," Rolland noted in his nomination. "There is an excitement on campus shared by the trustees and alumni that DePauw is poised to become one of the top universities in the country."
Robert Bottoms originally came to DePauw in 1978 as vice president for University relations and later became executive vice president for external relations. He became president in 1986. A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Emory University and Vanderbilt University, he began his career in higher education as chaplain and assistant to the president at Birmingham-Southern. He then became assistant dean and assistant professor of church and ministry at the Vanderbilt Divinity School before being recruited to DePauw.
Dr. Bottoms has served as a member and leader of numerous educational organizations including the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities, Great Lakes Colleges Association, the Japan Foundation and the American Center for International Leadership. In addition, he has been a consultant to the Lilly Endowment, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation and the Fund for Theological Education. Dr. Bottoms has written articles on education, finance and development issues, including opinion pieces for the New York Times, the Indianapolis Star and the Chicago Tribune.
A member of the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation in Chicago, Dr. Bottoms also has served as an Episcopal representative on the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches.Back