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The GOLD Award recognizes an outstanding Graduate of the Last Decade who has shown leadership in a career or occupation and in volunteer service. The award is presented at Reunion.

2022 GOLD Award Recipient: Portia A. Anderson ’12

Portia Anderson ’12 is a first-generation college graduate who was born and raised in Chicago. Portia graduated from Dominican University with bachelor's degrees in Spanish and political science with an emphasis in international affairs, and a minor in criminology. She received her master’s degrees from the University of Utah and North Central University in educational leadership and policy and organizational leadership.

Raised by her grandmother, Portia understood the power of education, which was the most critical value her grandmother instilled in her. Portia never forgets her roots in both her upbringing and experiences at Dominican University. She has embodied the mission of Caritas et Veritas in her work as a critically conscious educator/practitioner in higher education. Though she did not go the route of law school like she imagined when she first set foot on Dominican’s campus, she is still using those principles to influence, impact, and shift higher education policy. This was evident in the passion she carried at Dominican in 2014 when she returned to work in the Office of Residence Life.

Portia has been involved in equity and inclusion work for more than nine years in various capacities within higher education in areas such as residence life, student life, academic advising, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). At the center of her work, Portia is passionate about creating opportunities to enact justice, increase diversity, and practice equity in order to foster inclusion. She is now the assistant dean for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in the College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah. Portia believes in empowering the voices of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) students so that they can contribute to sustainable institutional changes that positively impact their communities, which supported her efforts as an advocate to co-found the Black Cultural Center at the University of Utah with many phenomenal Black folx on this campus in 2019.

Today, Portia is deeply involved as a leadership and board member in the areas of higher education practice and policy on both national and local levels as she volunteers in various organizations and community boards such as:

  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) African-American Knowledge Community
  • Pastor France A. Davis Scholarship Board
  • University of Utah’s Black Advisory Council
  • Howard University + University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business Howard IMPACT Advisory Board
  • Versatile Image Board of Directors

Portia was recently recognized for the following awards:

  • Co-Founder of the University of Utah Black Cultural Center
  • University of Utah Black Student Union’s Legacy Award
  • Black Faculty & Staff Award, U of U Black Cultural Center, James McCune Smith Award of Veneration

Portia has made it her life’s work to live out the mission as she “pursues truth, to give compassionate service, and participate in the creation of a more just and humane world” in all that she does and commits herself to in service to community.

Previous Recipients of the GOLD Award

2019: Jeanette Chavarria-Torres ’15

2018: Romney Cirillo ’08

2017: Michael E. Meranda ’07, MBA ’10

2016: Tracy Samantha Schmidt ’06

2014: Jessica Cochran ’05

2012: Abby Zupancic ’07 

2010: Xochitl Espinosa '00 

2008: Gina Marotta ’98 

2007: Steven E. Lize ’97, Brother Edmund Siderewicz, FSC, MAEA ’97 

2006: Manny Flores ’96 

2005: Evelyn Benitez ’00 

2004: Aracely Barragan Lawrence ’94 

2002: Ignacio Gamboa, Jr. ’92 

2001: Marilyn Anderson-Rhames ’96 

2000: Keith Izban, M.D., ’90 

1999: Ramiro J. Atristain ’89 

1998: Erick Baumann ’93 

1997: Laura Nozicka ’92 

1996: Joan Sedivy Sylvester ’86, MBA ’92, Kevin O’Mara ’91 

1995: Kevin Austin ’90, MBA ’92 

1993: John V. Paris II ’87 

To nominate an alumna/us for the GOLD Award, click the following Nomination form and select “GOLD Award” in the drop-down menu.

Supplemental materials that cannot be uploaded may be mailed to Office of Alumnae/i Relations, Dominican University, 7900 W. Division Street, River Forest, IL 60305. You can also fax supplemental materials to (708) 366-4197.

Please email the Office of Alumnae/i Relations or call (708) 524-6286 with any questions regarding award nominations.