The Delwin K. Gustafson Recognition Award

Del Gustafson

By naming its recognition award for Delwin K. Gustafson, long-time Dean of Admission at Gettysburg, PACAC pays tribute to one of its most outstanding members.  Del served Gettysburg as an admission officer from 1967 until 1998; in all but three of those years he was director or dean.  Longevity alone, though, doesn’t qualify anyone for PACAC’s highest award.  Del’s quiet yet very effective style of leadership was recognized early, and he was elected president of PACAC in 1975.  This led to involvement at the national level.  It didn’t take long for NACAC to tap his legal background, for after graduating from Augustana College, Del returned to his home state and attended the University of Nebraska Law School.  The combination of legal expertise and admission experience made Del a perfect choice for the committee drafting NACAC’s response to the 1978 Bake decision, the classic reverse discrimination case.  Thrust reluctantly into the national limelight, Del’s humility and natural tendency to focus attention on others did nothing to dissuade the NACAC membership from recognizing his ability to lead, and consequently he was elected President of NACAC in 1979.

When Del was nominated for the then Distinguished Recognition Award in 1992, his colleagues at Gettysburg provided testimonials on his behalf which tell us much about Del.  To quote just a few: “not a lot of pomp and circumstance, but a whole lot of substance;” “very professional;” “a solid citizen performing professionally in a non-flashy way;” “very tolerant;” “sensitive;” “caring, thoughtful;” “fairest person I’ve ever met.”  These few words speak volumes.

For reasons only a higher power knows, Del was taken from us too early.  But his legacy lives on through the students he encountered in his career, the staff he trained and nurtured as professionals, and the colleagues throughout the country, and indeed the world, he touched with his friendship and sage counsel.

The Delwin K. Gustafson Recognition Award is given annually to a member for dedicated service to students, the profession and to PACAC. It is the highest award given by the Association and reflects the professional dedication; personal qualities and simple sense of service that Del embodied so very well.


Previous Recipients

2022            Kevin McIntyre, Buena Vista University

2021            Debbie Little, Penn State University World Campus

2020            Darryl Jones, Gettysburg College

2019            Karen Mason, Germantown Academy

2018            Steven Bell, Upper Darby High School

2017            Gary Johnson, Temple University

2016            Thomas Butler, Philadelphia Prep Roundtable

2015            Ellen Deitrich, The Shipley School

2014            Thomas Hassett, La Roche College

2013            Joanna Schultz, The Ellis School

2012            Chuck Bachman, Lafayette College

2011            Francine Block, American College Admissions Consultants

2010            William R. McClintick, Jr., Mercersburg Academy

2009            Sue Thomas, Ursinus College

2008            Greg E. Eichorn, Albright College

2007            Fran Cubberley, Delaware County Community College

2006            Pat Tamborello, Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School

2005            Merris Harvey, Millersville University

2004            Geoffrey Harford, The Pennsylvania State University

2003            Stephen R. Merritt, Villanova University

2002            Rebecca H. Bowlby, Drexel University

2001            Patricia Rambo, Springfield High School

2000            Lynne Martin, Lynne H. Martin Associates

1999            Michael Steidel, Carnegie Mellon University

1998            Naomi Kuziewski, Philadelphia High School for Girls

1997            Bryan Seese, Milton Hershey School

1996            William Yarwood, Conestoga High School

1995            Rita Reichert, Conestoga High School

1994            Alex Howson, Shady Side Academy

1993            Sally Risberg, Great Valley High School

1992            Delwin K. Gustafson, Gettysburg College

1991            Jacob Dresden, William Penn Charter School

1990            James E. Cavalier, Sewickley Academy

1989            R Russell Shunk, Dickinson College

1988            Sara J. Caum, Central Dauphin High School

1987            John Muir, Episcopal Academy

1986            William F. Elliott, Carnegie Mellon University

1985            Richard Haines, Lafayette College

1984            Richard A. Stewart, Allegheny College

1983            Sarah Heckscher, Springside School

1982            Franklin Carr, Upper St. Clair High School