National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

Independent Colleges of Washington and our member college presidents work closely with the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
on Federal policy issues.

  • Participation in NAICU Groups

  • Paley Awards

    • 2016: John E. Bassett, Heritage University
    • 2010: Kathleen Ross, snjm, Heritage University
    • 1999: David Irwin, WAICU (later merged to form ICW)
    • 1998: Rev. William J. Sullivan, Seattle University

Participation in NAICU groups

Presidents Thayne McCulloh (Gonzaga University) and John McVay (Walla Walla University), currently serve on the NAICU board of directors.

Other current presidents who have served as NAICU board members include Ron Thomas (University of Puget Sound) and John Bassett (Heritage University)

Paley Awards

Named for the late Henry Paley, president of CICU of New York from 1975 until 1984, the prestigious Paley Award recognizes an individual who embodies his spirit of unfailing service toward the students and faculty of independent higher education.

The recipients of this award have set an example for all who would seek to advance educational opportunity in the United States.

Since its inception in 1985, four educational leaders from Washington,more than nearly any other state, have received NAICU’s highest honor.

2016: John E. Bassett, Heritage University

“John Bassett’s legacy is one of accomplishment — from leadership roles on multiple college campuses and at national higher education organizations, he has strived to improve higher education, especially the liberal arts, for every student,” said David L. Warren, president of NAICU.  “John provided extraordinary leadership to the NAICU Board as Chairman.  Through his wise counsel and uplifting sense of humor he guided the Association to significant advances in the growth of federal student aid appropriations and tax benefits for students and families, and to the reduction in costly and inappropriate regulation.  And of special importance, he remains both an important colleague and valued friend.” — Read full press release —

2010: Kathleen Ross, snjm, Heritage University

For decades, organizations have almost had to stand in line to recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of Sister Kathleen Ross, snjm, founding president of Heritage University. However, now is an especially appropriate time for this association and its member presidents, to salute an educational leader who has personified the term “giving,” as she concludes her service as head of a remarkable institution, and begins a new phase of service to the underserved.

1999: David Irwin, Washington Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

“For more than 30 years, Dave Irwin gave distinguished service and inspired leadership to independent higher education in Washington and across the United States,” said NAICU President David L. Warren. “His passionate advocacy of educational choice and student assistance, and unwavering commitment to independent higher education, stand as a shining example to all of us.”

1998: Rev. William J. Sullivan, Seattle University

The impact and influence Father William J. Sullivan, S.J., had on Seattle University are unparalleled. During his 20-year presidency, he led the Jesuit Catholic university to a new level of excellence, transformed the physical campus, strengthened its Catholic character and ecumenical commitment and brought unprecedented recognition to the school’s academic programs. President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., calls him, “The Maker of the Modern Seattle University.”