This year marks a momentous milestone in our industry – we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the original signing of the Higher Education Act, which simultaneously spawned the birth of the National Association of Study Financial Aid Administrators!! And in wonderful style, the annual NASFAA Conference held in Washington DC July 10-13 provided us not only with an excellent conference, but a celebratory retrospective of how the industry has evolved over the decades.
The NASFAA Board of Directors kicked off the event on Saturday evening with a cocktail and dinner event at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. No less than 24 former NASFAA Chairs came to help celebrate the anniversary. It was a true testament to the commitment of these individuals to our industry that they were eager to come “home” and celebrate with the current Board. And having the dessert bar in the same room as the Hope Diamond was truly the icing on the cake!!
The conference truly began on Sunday with 2,500 attendees…the largest registration in the last ten years. The Keynote introductory speaker was Jeanette Wells, author of “The Glass Castle”, which has been on the New York Times best seller list for six years. Her story and message gives hope to those facing challenges and make us all realize that anything is possible. After hearing her speak I downloaded the book immediately and can’t wait to settle in for an inspirational read!!
Sunday evening had us kicking up our heals and blowing off steam at the 50th Anniversary Dinner and Dance.
Throughout the conference we heard updates from Jeff Baker and company regarding PPY, Gainful Employment, and all of the other riveting topics that make us anxious to get up and go to work each day. 😉 Justin Draeger and his NASFAA crew along with the conference committee provided a seamless conference that was both entertaining and informative. Dan Mann, current NASFAA Chair, presided over the conference and festivities in wonderful style.
The event as a whole reminded me what a privilege it has been to be a part of this incredible industry with the myriad of committed individuals that have preceded us and who we work with and network with today. Happy Birthday NASFAA!!!! And many, many, many more…