PDF Print Email

The National Society for Experiential Education invites you to nominate a sitting college president for the



This award honors the work of William M. Burke, the founding president of The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, by recognizing college presidents who mirror Bill Burke’s passion for experiential learning through their support of experiential learning on their campuses.

Bill Burke established The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars in 1975 with the dream of providing college students from the United States and around the globe access to academic internships in Washington D.C.  For over 40 years, TWC’s mission has been to mentor, nurture and develop leaders in politics, the nonprofit sector, media, business and many other fields.  It was Bill’s desire that our young people learn those values that are important in our future leaders: self-respect, selflessness, dedication, ethics, courage, teamwork and the highest standards of performance.

Bill Burke believed in experiential learning, in all of its forms.  It was his vision, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that led him to develop special programs that allowed equal access to The Washington Center.  In addition, Bill worked tirelessly to seek out funding to establish scholarship support for these programs.  Along the way, he gained the respect of members of Congress and the executive branch, corporate CEOs, foreign dignitaries, media luminaries, leaders in philanthropy, nonprofit leaders, state legislators and college and university presidents, as well as The Washington Center’s over 50,000 alumni.  When Bill passed away in 2004, he left behind a strong, well-respected program that continues to provide a unique opportunity to college students everywhere.

It is in the spirit of Bill Burke’s commitment to experiential learning that the National Society for Experiential Education seeks nominees for the William M. Burke Presidential Award for Excellence in Experiential Education.  The award will be given to a college or university president at the 2018 NSEE conference and consists of a $2,000 scholarship to be awarded to a student at the winner’s home institution for participation in an experiential program.  This award, funded by The Washington Center, recognizes a sitting college president who has made significant contributions to experiential education and who exemplifies Bill’s commitment to college students through support of experiential education on campus and in the community.

Award Criteria

  • A college or university president from an accredited institution of higher education in office during the 2017-18 academic year
  • Has demonstrated three or more of the following:
    • Has motivated a program or campus to embrace experiential education and has provided the support needed to make it successful
    • Has supported the establishment of experiential programming that makes it possible for students  of all economic backgrounds to participate
    • Has supported the establishment of innovative experiential education programming with an international emphasis
    • Has demonstrated the character of leadership, entrepreneurship, risk-taking or bold, forward thinking in the support of experiential education
    • Has impacted the field of experiential education beyond his/her own institution

To Nominate a Candidate:

Click here to complete the online nomination form and to upload any relevant documentation.  Please use MSWord or pdf files when uploading your documents.  Please submit your nominations now later than May 1, 2018.

Click here for past winners