Apperson Award

The Richard L. Apperson Award, named in honor of PCACAC's first president, is the association's highest honor presented to a PCACAC member.  It is awarded annually to a member whose career embodies the ideals of the association - providing extraordinary service to students, to PCACAC, and to the college counseling profession. We are pleased to announce the 2017 Apperson Award winner:

Lou Hirsh - 2017 Apperson Award Winner

Louis L. Hirsh has been an admissions professional since August 1975 and retired in June 2012 as Director of Admissions at the University of Delaware. With a love of education, our recipient demonstrated his commitment to individual students whether working directly with the them during a high school visit, campus program or reading their applications with remarkable nuance and insight. A school counselor noted, “He is amazing for his ability to meet a student or family, or read an application, yet remember them individually among thousands of applicants.” 

In addition to his work with individual students, Lou instituted policy changes intent on helping applicants from all populations to the University of Delaware. For example, in order to help students of diverse backgrounds, he introduced a holistic review that broadened the selection criteria beyond GPA and SAT. He also worked with the university to drop Early Decision at a time when many other institutions were increasing their reliance on binding programs.

Lou has selflessly served PCACAC on countless professional panels at our annual conferences, been a faculty member on at least seven different Summer Institutes, and chaired the Admissions Practices Committee from 2012-2016 while also serving as a NACAC Delegate and on the Executive Board. Throughout this time, he selflessly served our organization whether driving from the northern part of the region to the southern for an afternoon presentation on Ethics, hosting a Drive-in Workshop at University of Delaware, or successfully advocating for the PCACAC conference to return to his home state. To this day, when meeting with public school counselors or assisting with University of Delaware’s College Access Project, he remains a constant champion for the organization and the opportunities it provides.  

Retiring from his full-time position at the University of Delaware in 2012, Lou did not simply ride a cruise ship into the sunset with his beloved wife. Instead, he continued to support colleagues throughout the region by educating students, high school faculty and counselors on various parts of the admission process through workshops and presentations while serving as an independent consultant.  He also brought his Herculean effort to the greater college counseling community by joining the NACAC Admissions Practices Committee where he served as an important voice for three years before becoming that Committee’s chair-person. In this role, as well as a member of the National Steering Committee on Admissions Practices, he was one of the primary authors behind the new Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP).

Lou Hirsh is a legend within our profession—and not just for his bow ties, giggle or constant need to remind us that there is no C in his last name. While his UD colleagues will regale us with stories about his love for theater and music—and that they knew “Lou was in the house” late night reading applications when opera was blaring from speakers throughout the office—counselors throughout the Potomac and Chesapeake region, as well as around the world, use the following words when asked to describe Lou:  Integrity, Gentleman, Scholar, Student-centered, Mentor, Sage and Admissions-savant. 

Read the entire tribute to Lou HIrsh by Jake Talmage, PCACAC President-Elect.

Apperson Award Winners, 1973-present