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Richard Trollinger Earns CASE Award for His Doctoral Dissertation

Richard TrollingerThe task of doctoral research ultimately leads to the reward of a Ph.D. or Ed.D. However, in the case of Richard Trollinger, the work also leads to awards.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) bestowed upon Trollinger the 2009 John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation for his research on “Philanthropy and Transformation in American Higher Education” in which he documented how notable mega gifts caused dramatic but different changes in three recipient colleges and universities.

“I am both honored and excited for my doctoral dissertation to have been chosen by CASE for this prestigious award,” said Trollinger, who received his Ph.D. from the UK College of Education Department of Educational Policy Studies (EPE) in May 2009. “I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a scholar of the renown of John Thelin, who chaired my committee, and other members of the UK faculty, especially those in Educational Policy Studies. They deserve much of the credit for this recognition.”

Thelin, a professor in EPE, nominated Trollinger for the award and stated that he was an outstanding student throughout the course of his doctoral work while serving full-time as Centre College’s vice president for development and college relations. Thelin also believes that Trollinger’s research has shown an important correlation between donors and the development of undergraduate academic programs.

“Richard Trollinger’s gracefully written Ph.D. dissertation connects a wealth of historical studies on philanthropy in American life to higher education, past and present,” Thelin said. “His study shows the ways in which major donors to such institutions as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University and the University of Richmond have nurtured ‘transformational gifts’ to create distinctive, excellent undergraduate academic programs within the structure of the contemporary American university.”

CASE is one of the largest international associations of education institutions, serving more than 3,400 universities, colleges, and independent primary and secondary schools in 61 countries. CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information and standards in the fields of education fundraising, communications and marketing, and alumni relations.