Campus: CSU Fullerton -- December 10, 2001
Cal State Fullerton Director Is First to Receive National
Saluted for innovation, a Cal State Fullerton administrator is the charter
recipient of a national award presented by a coalition of four higher
Owen Holmes, the university's director of state and federal relations,
has received the 2001 Edwin Crawford Award for Innovation. He was honored
Friday in San Diego during the eighth annual State Relations Conference
attended by members of the four national organizations: the American Association
of State Colleges and Universities, Council for Advancement and Support
of Education (CASE), National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant
Colleges (NASULGC), and the American Association of Community Colleges.
The Crawford award was established by these Washington, D.C.-based groups
to recognize newcomers to the field who have made an "extraordinary
contribution to the advancement, quality and effectiveness of state relations"
on behalf of their universities or systems of higher education.
Holmes was chosen from among "many distinguished professionals representing
the most respected institutions of higher education in the United States,"
noted CASE President Vance T. Peterson, who heads the world's largest
Holmes is credited with launching a series of projects aimed at raising
the profile of Cal State Fullerton with elected officials, as well as
candidates running for state office. Those efforts included forming a
Titan Advocates group of alumni to help educate officials about the accomplishments
and priorities of the campus, organizing town halls on topics of interest
to the community and their elected officials, and holding educational
briefings for candidates for state office.
Beyond Cal State Fullerton, Holmes played a lead role in a collaborative
effort with other campuses to stage educational campaigns that helped
win passage of two statewide bond measures in support of education.
Holmes "was instrumental in the development and establishment of
a formalized governmental relations structure at Cal State Fullerton,"
noted CSUF President Milton A. Gordon. "His ability to build a strong
foundation for the Office of State and Federal Relations has resulted
in collaborative efforts with our campus and neighboring cities, community
organizations, and other colleges and universities with whom we share
State Sen. Dick Ackerman (R-Tustin) supported Holmes' nomination for the
award and lauded him for being "an extremely effective advocate for
the legislative agenda of CSUF and the CSU system."
The award commemorates nearly 40 years of service by Edwin Crawford to
state government relations through his work at various universities, including
the University of Virginia and University of California system. Individuals
who have served less than five years as a government relations officer
for two- or four-year institutions are considered for the annual honor.
In his present post since 1999, Holmes also serves as a member of the
city of Placentia's Downtown Revitalization Committee and is a past member
of the Fullerton Museum Center Board of Directors.
He holds a master's degree in political science from Cal State Fullerton
and a bachelor's degree in history from the University of South Carolina.
In 1995, he was an Education Policy Fellow with the Washington, D.C.-based
Institute for Educational Leadership. He resides in Placentia with his
wife, Cynthia Togami.
"Innovation is at the heart of state government relations, as it
is only through continual change and adaptation that professionals continue
to excel," said NASULGC President C. Peter Magrath. "The Crawford
award winner is the epitome of this quality of innovation."