The Council for Advancement and Support of Education has recognized Merced College with a 2023 CASE Circle of Excellence Award for outstanding achievements in educational advancement.

The nonprofit’s annual awards honor inspiring and creative work by staff at colleges, universities and schools throughout the world that impacts their institutions and communities and helps transform lives and society.

Merced College earned a Silver award in the category of “Micro-sites (Fundraising)” for the holiday card and 3-D printed ornament created by Foundation staff late last year. The cards and ornaments were mailed to community supporters and donors, and the ornaments—designed by staff and printed in-house—could be purchased through the website that was honored by CASE. The website included a time-lapse video of an ornament being printed.

Merced College was the only community college to be honored in the Micro-sites (Fundraising) category. Other schools recognized included UC San Diego, University of Texas at Austin, University of Cambridge, USC, University of Nebraska, and Johns Hopkins University.

“The holiday card is one of our favorite annual projects, and our team really took it to a new level last year,” said Jill Cunningham, Vice President of External Relations and Executive Director of the Merced College Foundation. “Merced College keeps raising the bar, and we’re so proud for this creative and thoughtful work to be recognized among the best in the nation.”

In announcing the award on June 21, the CASE judges noted the project’s creativity and potential to be replicated in future years or at other schools:

“Of all of the entries reviewed, judges found this fun and creative concept to be the most memorable. What a clever way to engage the community and create a new tradition! Judges appreciate that this project was quite unique and unexpected, but entirely replicable at other institutions. We were delighted by the simple yet elegant web page and mesmerized by watching the ornament being made on the 3-D printer.”

CASE announced that 4,021 total entries were submitted this year from 583 institutions in 22 countries. Of those, 521 were selected for special recognition in the Circle of Excellence awards. Winners were judged on overall quality, innovation, use of resources and their influence on their school and related communities, including alumni, parents, students, faculty and staff. 

“The Circle of Excellence Awards showcase the impact advancement professionals have upon their institutions and communities around the globe, every day,” said CASE president and CEO Sue Cunningham. “Our 2023 honorees … are bold, creative and resourceful. They demonstrate how powerful it is when advancement teams champion teaching, learning, research and the progress that education ignites.”

Merced College does not discriminate, and prohibits harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, or sexual orientation.

Media Contact: James Leonard, [email protected], 209-681-1061