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Alan Donley Award
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Alan M. Donley Chair in Need Analysis Recognition
Synopsis of Winter 2004 Conference Award Comments
With the combined goal of having a bit of interesting fun and setting the stage for a unique award, the December 9, 2004 OASFAA conference afternoon general session was started by asking all able to rise. Based on years in the financial aid industry, those present were then asked to sit back down as their years of service were called. This process started with those having five years or less in the industry, then ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five and thirty. As the number still standing dwindled, it was fun to observe the comments and exclamations from the crowd! After those with thirty years or less in the industry were seated, the process then broke down to one-year increments until, at year thirty-six, only Don Chenelle, George Emery and Alan Donley remained on their feet. With Don and George celebrating their 36th year, Al proved to be the longest tenured person in the room currently participating in his 38th year in financial aid. He received a lengthy round of applause for this achievement with many commenting on what an enjoyable exercise this process proved to be.

As Mr. Donley sat down, the focus then turned to impact. First, all who had ever attended a history or need analysis session that Al had conducted were asked to stand. Close to fifty percent of the over 400 assembled people rose! Given that Al started as financial aid director at Hiram College in 1966, all those who were born in 1967 or thereafter were asked to stand resulting in another significant percentage of those present. It was noted that Mr. Donley and Mr. Chenelle were charter members of OASFAA and to the best of current knowledge, the only two of this select group still active in the association.

The OASFAA President for the 1972-73 academic year, Al Donley has always been true to the need analysis roots of the financial aid industry certainly at Hiram but also during his many years at the helm of his company, CSAS Software. Even as the industry has evolved and the necessary functions of his software changed, Al has made sure that the core centers around need analysis and the true access and choice philosophies of our profession. Noting that he has continued to be an active and participating member of OASFAA throughout the years, comments were shared relative to the fatherly and even grandfatherly relationships Al has with many of the younger association members. In particular, Carmen Sears-Edwards and Kimberly Nash-Yore were mentioned in this regard.

Because of the long history Al has with OASFAA and the continued proactive way in which he participates, a decision was made to honor him in a new and unique way. Just as many colleges and universities name an academic chair in honor of a particular individual, OASFAA will henceforth recognize the chair of its need analysis committee as, “The Alan M. Donley Chair in Need Analysis”. Upon hearing this news, all assembled joined in a standing ovation of some duration. Al was truly touched and appreciative of the recognition and found, after being presented with a plaque honoring the distinction, found that he was unable to speak. His customary smile and wave served as a most appropriate symbol of his thanks.

Two copies of a plaque were prepared. The plaque is printed in a vertical format with the OASFAA logo across the top and the following text beneath: “In grateful recognition for 38 years of service and commitment, OASFAA resolves that the Chair of the Need Analysis Committee shall henceforth be known as THE ALAN M. DONLEY CHAIR IN NEED ANALYSIS. Effective December 8, 2004. Mark A. Bandre. 2004-2005 President.” One copy was given to Al for his keeping with the second being presented to Scott Lehman, the first holder of the Donley Chair. Scott was charged to maintain this plaque and see that it was presented to the next Chair of this committee and so forth over the years.

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