The Institute’s signature award programs are designed to advance knowledge and recognize leadership excellence.

The TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education

Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, received the 2018 TIAA Institute Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education for his outstanding leadership of SNHU and success in expanding access to quality education for historically disadvantaged populations.

Under the 14 years of Dr. LeBlanc’s direction, SNHU has grown from 2,500 students to nearly 100,000 on campus and online. The university is now the second largest nonprofit provider of online higher education in the country, and the first to have a full competency-based degree program approved by a regional accreditor and the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. LeBlanc is an educational visionary whose embrace of technology and innovation impacted education around the world. Forbes Magazine has listed him as one of its 15 “Classroom Revolutionaries” and Washington Monthly named him one of America’s ten most innovative university presidents.

The Hesburgh Award is named in honor of the late Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., former president of the University of Notre Dame and longtime member of the TIAA and CREF Boards of Overseers. A world-renowned educator and humanitarian, Father Hesburgh (1917-2015) was among the most influential figures in the modern history of higher education.

Sponsored by the TIAA Institute and administered by the American Council on Education (ACE), the Hesburgh Award is given to a current college or university president or chancellor who embodies Father Hesburgh’s commitment to higher education and society at large. The winner is chosen by an independent panel of judges.

Ron Pressman, TIAA’s chief executive officer, Institutional Financial Services, presented Dr. LeBlanc’s award on March 12, 2018, during a plenary luncheon at ACE’s 100th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

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Father Hesburgh on leadership excellence

The TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security

Harvard and Yale researchers win the 22nd annual TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award.

Named in honor of the late Nobel Prize winner and former CREF trustee, the TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award For Outstanding Scholarly Writing On Lifelong Financial Security is given annually by the TIAA Institute to recognize an outstanding research publication that helps advance Americans’ lifelong financial well-being.

A panel of distinguished judges selects the award winner and the TIAA Institute announces the winner every year during the annual meeting of the Allied Social Sciences Associations.

Dr. Samuelson is credited with helping turn economics from an academic discipline to problem solving. An example of the principles championed by Dr. Samuelson is a collaboration between James Choi, Yale University and Brigitte Madrian, John Beshears, and David Laibson, Harvard University, for their recent Samuelson award-winning paper "Does Aggregated Returns Disclosure Increase Portfolio Risk-Taking?"

Prior experiments suggest participants take on more investment risk if they see less frequent returns, portfolio-level (rather than individual asset) returns, or long-horizon (rather than one-year) historical return distributions. In contrast, the authors find such aggregated information does not affect total equity investment when the investment environment is made more realistic than in past studies. Aggregation effects found previously are not robust to changes in the risky asset's return distribution or to the introduction of multiday delay between portfolio choice and return realizations.

According to Conrad S. Ciccotello, one of the award judges, "This paper shows the link between information aggregation and risk taking does not hold up under greater scrutiny. The authors offer a new and more robust perspective on how investor behaviors and disclosure policies can impact risk taking and, ultimately, financial security."

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