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Damien Daniels, William Snowden, and Jerome Stewart accept the Tony Diggs Award from Senior Vice President for System Academic Administration Robert Jones and Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart.

Kappa Alpha Psi board members Damien Daniels, William Snowden, and Jerome Stewart accepted the Tony Diggs Award from senior vice President for system academic administration Robert Jones (right) and vice provost for student affairs Jerry Rinehart (left).

Legacy of action continues

U of M student groups receive Tony Diggs Excellence Awards

By Bob San

Brief, May 16, 2007

The University of Minnesota Student Unions & Activities hosted the first annual Tony Diggs Excellence Awards on April 19 to recognize the contributions made by outstanding student groups at the University.

Diggs began his career at the University of Minnesota more than 16 years ago. He was an advisor and director of the African American Learning Resource Center for many years, then served as director of the Student Activities Office (SAO) beginning in 2003. After a long battle with cancer, Diggs passed away on May 24, 2006.

Diggs approached his leadership role at SAO and at the University as he did all things in his life--with great energy and enthusiasm. Renowned for his advocacy for students, student organizations, and cultural centers, Diggs was instrumental in establishing a partnership grant for non-fee-receiving student groups, which the Student Services Fees Committee unanimously approved with a $50,000 fund. Due to the increasing volume of applications, the partnership grant received additional funding in spring 2006.

While working at the African American Learning Resource Center, Diggs began a male-mentoring program, Our Brother's Keeper, which is still active on campus.

Tony Diggs
Tony Diggs

"Tony's smile and enthusiasm could light up a room," said Patrick Troup, who worked with Diggs at the African American Learning Resource Center. "He truly cared about each student he worked with and was a mentor to many students and staff."

The Tony Diggs Excellence Awards recognize student groups for innovation, philanthropic efforts, outstanding events, and overall achievements of both new and established student organizations. Seventy-two nominations were received for more than 30 student organizations.

Recipients of the 2007 awards