Renowned Philanthropist Conrad Prebys and Lakeside Superintendent Dr. David Lorden Honored by Sanford Education Center

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Mr. Prebys named “Humanitarian of the Year” and Dr. Lorden named “Educator of the Year” at 1st year anniversary of the Sanford Education Center at National University

The Sanford Education Center is at National University, the second largest private nonprofit university in California

Marking its first-year anniversary today, the Sanford Education Center at National University recognized educators and nonprofit leaders with special awards for their contributions to philanthropy and education. The recipient of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award was philanthropist Conrad Prebys, and Dr. David Lorden, Superintendent of Lakeside Union School District in San Diego County, was named “Educator of the Year.”

National University is the second-largest private nonprofit university in California, and the awards recognize a commitment to ideals that form the foundation of the Center’s three initiatives: Sanford Harmony, Sanford Inspire and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. The PreK-12 Sanford Harmony and Sanford Inspire programs support student achievement and development, and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy supports the work of nonprofit leaders and fundraisers.

The Center and its programs were established in 2014 through initial funding by philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, and they are now being sustained through a combination of resources including National University and anonymous donation.

“We are extremely pleased to recognize the remarkable work of Mr. Prebys, who has been a pillar of the San Diego community and whose dedication to so many nonprofit and philanthropic causes is a true inspiration,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, President of National University and Chancellor of the National University System. “We are also very honored to recognize Dr. Lorden for his leadership and innovation in the education sector, and his proven commitment to student success.”

The first recipient of the “Humanitarian of the Year” award was Mr. T. Denny Sanford, who received it last year. During today’s event, Mr. Sanford presented Mr. Prebys with the award. Philanthropist and entrepreneur Conrad Prebys has given back tremendously to the San Diego community. His generosity has included capital and operating gifts to the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County, the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Opera, the Old Globe Theatre, UCSD Music Centre, the La Jolla Music Society, Scripps Mercy Hospital, Sanford/Burnham/Prebys Medical Research Institute in San Diego and Orlando Florida, the Salk Institute and San Diego Hospice.

Dr. Lorden was recognized for his dedication to student achievement and creating a positive school culture through innovative programs that support student learning and development. His district, Lakeside Union School District, was the first in the country to adopt Sanford Harmony districtwide for its pre-kindergarten students. Dr. Lorden was the recipient of the 2011 California League of Middle Schools Leadership Award; the 2008 ACSA Region VI Pupil Personnel Administrator of the Year; the San Leandro Unified School District 2007-08 Administrator of the Year; and the 2007 Making a Difference Award.

During the celebration, elementary schools teachers throughout the country were also recognized for their dedication to the vision of the Sanford Harmony program. They are: Nicki Fisher, nominated by National University; Whitney Lemasters, nominated by National University; Kathy Crowley, nominated by University of South Dakota; Thania Hernandez, nominated by Long Island University; and Tia Reese, nominated by University of Central Florida.

The Sanford Education Center’s anniversary celebration marks important advancements of the three initiatives, two of which focus on the PreK-12 sector: Sanford Harmony, a PreK-6 social-emotional learning program that emphasizes positive peer interactions, and Sanford Inspire, a PreK-12 initiative that supports inspiring teaching. Originally developed at Arizona State University, the two programs are being nationally disseminated through the leadership of National University and its Sanford Education Center. Sanford Inspire is being aligned with teacher education programs and Sanford Harmony is currently being introduced to more than 2,500 classrooms and currently impacting approximately 50,000 children.

In June, National University announced the formation of the Sanford Education Collaborative, a group of nine universities led and administered by National University to advance the programs introduction. The University is also coordinating with New York University’s Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes to conduct independent research.

The Center’s third initiative, the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, is dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations advance their fundraising and leadership potential through a unique focus on cause sales approaches that is integrated into seminars, a certificate program and a master’s program. Five full-day seminars have been held over the past year, and collaborations established with the San Diego Foundation and National School Foundation Association. The event also marked the launch of a new one-of-its-kind textbook on cause sales and fundraising written by David J. Lill and Jennifer K. Lill, and inspired by the vision of Mr. Sanford: Cause Selling The Sanford Way.

About the Sanford Education Center at National University
The Sanford Education Center was established at National University in 2014 through a generous gift by renowned philanthropist and businessman T. Denny Sanford, to address critical needs in the education and the nonprofit sectors. The two initiatives serving PreK-12 education—Sanford Harmony and Sanford Inspire—were initially developed at Arizona State University, and National University’s Sanford Education Center is leading their national rollout through the recently-created Sanford Education Collaborative, a group of nine universities. The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, also based at the Center, is dedicated to increasing the fundraising capacity of nonprofits and cause organizations to maximize their impact on the public good through seminars, certificates and a master’s program. For more information about the Sanford Education Center at National University:

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California. With 30,000 students and more than 140,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Five schools and one college – the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at more than locations throughout California and across the nation, and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California. To learn more, visit

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