CSU Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Honored with Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund Award

Paul Thayer, Colorado State University associate Vice President for Student Affairs and special advisor to the Provost for Retention, has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Fields/Wolfe: Journey to Justice Leadership Award.

The Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund was established after the tragic murders of two CSU students, Javad Marshall Fields, and his fiancée, Vivian Wolfe, in 2005.

Thayer was honored this summer at the Fourth Annual Community Leadership Award Celebration hosted by the Marshall Fields and Wolfe families at the City of Aurora Municipal Center. The award honored Thayer and Susan Payne, Executive Director of Safe2Tell and Special Agent with Colorado Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security, for their devotion to academic excellence, public safety and civic engagement.

“Paul’s leadership is making a profound difference in the lives of our undergraduate students and we are very proud to have him on our team,” said CSU President Tony Frank.

“We are humbled that this wonderful organization has honored Paul for his efforts connecting with students and ensuring their success at Colorado State University,” said Blanche Hughes, vice president for Student Affairs at Colorado State. “His valuable work stems from the belief that retention is not a number or percentage, but a high-quality educational experience that ensures aspirations of each student can be fulfilled.”

The Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund also recognized Nicole Thompson who, when she graduates this December, will be the first graduate from Colorado State University to complete degree work while on scholarship provided by the fund. The fund has named Nathan Brown as the newest recipient of the scholarship to attend Colorado State.

Thayer met Wolfe through her participation as a member of the CSU Key Academic Community, an academically focused residential learning community for first-year students. He met Fields a year later during his time as a Bridge Scholar at Colorado State in the summer before his freshman year.

“This award has so much meaning for me because I knew both students,” Thayer said. “I have such deep admiration and appreciation for the work the families have done.”

Rhonda Fields, president and founder of the Fields Wolfe Memorial Fund, said, “Thayer’s profound leadership toward student retention and success has fully enriched the undergraduate experience at CSU. His focus on students and extending himself beyond the scope of functions to provide guidance and support to faculty, staff, and students has truly made a remarkable career.”

Thayer is also a member of Governor Bill Ritter’s P-20 Education Advisory Council, which advocates for a seamless education system from pre-school to graduate school that prepares young people for the demands of the 21st century.