John A. "Jack" Blackburn Award


The John A. "Jack" Blackburn Award for Ethics in College Admission was established by the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC) in 2010 to honor the late Jack Blackburn, long-time Dean of Admission at the University of Virginia. Throughout his career, Jack served as an admirable role model promoting the highest ethical standards, integrity in our profession and equity in access to higher education. This award recognizes a member of our profession who exemplifies the qualities that made Jack Blackburn revered by his peers.


The PCACAC Past Presidents Committee has selected this year's candidate for the Blackburn Award. This award will be presented at PCACAC's 53rd Annual Conference, April 15-17, 2018 at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino in Dover, DE. 

For questions or more information, contact Mike Carter, Chair of the Past Presidents' Committee.

Selection Process:

A recipient will be selected each year (pending qualified nominations) and recognized at the PCACAC Annual Spring Conference.  Criteria used for selection are:
  • Commitment to the high ethical standards of college admission through sustained active involvement in  the profession;
  • Dedication to promoting equal access to higher education for all students.

Membership in PCACAC is not a criterion for selection but consideration will be given to professionals in the PCACAC region.

The recipient will be honored with an engraved plaque and, for one year, will keep the Blackburn Award, a perpetual plaque engraved and embossed with the PCACAC logo listing the names of all recipients.

The selection committee is comprised of members of the PCACAC Past Presidents Committee.

Photo of Jack Blackburn by Dan Addison

In Recognition of our 2017 Award Winner

Martin “Marty” Wilder

Chief of Staff (Retired), University of Mary Washington (VA)

Marty has been a role-model and leader in ethics and in service to our profession as long as any can remember. He served as PCACAC President (1990-1991) and Chair of the Admission Practices Committee.

As a member of NACAC's Admission Practices Committee, Marty educated and mentored countless admission and counseling professionals and oversaw a process that can be nuanced in a dignified and professional way.  He honorably represented colleagues in National Assembly and in ethical discussions as he actively sought to improve NACAC's Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP). His efforts made important changes that protect students still today. 

Marty has impacted our profession while earning our respect in his non-assuming, thoughtful and proactive way.  He was presented with the John A. Blackburn Award on Sunday, April 23 at PCACAC's 52nd Annual Conference in Williamsburg, VA.

View UMW's article dated April 25, 2017:  "UMW Chief of Staff Honored for Admissions Ethics"

Previous Recipients

2016:  Dave Kraus, Director of Admission, Davidson College (NC)

2015:  Mildred Johnson, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management & Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Virginia Tech (VA)

2014:  James W. Jump, Academic Dean and Director of Guidance, St. Christopher's School (VA)

2013: Valerie H. Gregory, Associate Dean of Admissions and Outreach, University of Virginia (VA)

2012: Lou Hirsh, Retired Director of Admissions, University of Delaware (DE)

2011: Shirley Bloomquist, Independent Counselor (VA)