John A. "Jack" Blackburn Award


Photo of Jack Blackburn by Dan Addison

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. 

Selection Process

A recipient is 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 is 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.  For questions or additional information, contact Mike Carter, Chair of the Past Presidents' Committee.

In Recognition of our 2021 Award Winner

Leonard Satterwhite
Senior Associate Dean of Admissions
Washington and Lee University

Award presented by Grace Loughhead, Washington & Lee University

Leonard Satterwhite has a deep love of our profession and the daily hope it holds, a love of the students and families we serve, a love and care of his colleagues, and a profound love of his family and home state of North Carolina.  His story and how he found our profession starts like many of our stories—with an exceptional admissions recruiter.  Leonard entered Vanderbilt sight-on-scene after being recruited from Southern High School in Durham, NC by David Wood, former Director of Admissions at Vanderbilt.  David would again recruit Leonard by offering him his first job as an admissions counselor in 1973. Since that time, Leonard has served seven institutions, and has provided leadership within our many governing bodies throughout his 48-year career.  Much like his bowtie collection, his career is more than impressive!

In the word of his many friends and colleagues:

“There’s a saying that some people never meet a stranger. If there’s anyone who personifies that statement, it’s Leonard Satterwhite. Through his warmth, Leonard has a knack for connecting with people that transcends racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic boundaries. He represents all that is at the heart of being an ambassador for not only the institutions he works for but also the admissions counseling profession as a whole.”

"While Jack Blackburn and Leonard Satterwhite may represent very different notions of fashion style, they certainly were ‘cut from the same cloth’ in so many other ways. Jack was an amazing colleague, mentor and all-around friend. He cared deeply for students and those he worked with, both on and off  Grounds.  The exact same can be said for Leonard. While it might seem odd, particularly to those who love the game of basketball, during Leonard's time at Duke, he and I would meet between Durham and Chapel Hill, as reading season and travel schedules allowed. We would spend our time catching up with each other and with what was happening in our profession. I always found those conversations to be not only fun, but tremendously enlightening. Leonard's dedication and passion for our work was front and center every time we talked.  He genuinely believes in giving all students their chance to excel and he believes in doing so in an ethical way.”

"I'm uncertain whether 'mentor' suffices as the word to describe Leonard, his import and his influence.  From the first year to the twenty-fifth year in this profession, ours is a synergistic relationship.  And among the many gifts Leonard has given me and countless others is the import of HUMOR. Wittiness is his light- and his gift- that reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously, find way to connect and, of course, catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." 

In his own words, Leonard shared:

“The work of inclusion and access has been a lifelong pursuit. Developing programs and energizing a community to value diversity and inclusion is hard work. The students and parents I have worked with over the years have given me hope for our future generations.”

In her nomination and during her presentation, Grace shared:

“Leonard is often the brightest spot in our days, both in his affect and his wardrobe.  This light Leonard shines everywhere he goes is fueled by impeccable style and more importantly by love.  During Leonard’s almost 50 years in our profession, his efforts have touched generations of students and colleagues, and I am grateful that we can stand together to honor Leonard’s energy, effort and lasting legacy."


2020:  Joyce E. SmithNACAC CEO (Retired 2020)

2019:  Evelyn Boyd WhiteRetired School Counseling Coordinator, Thomas Dale High School (VA)

2018:  Todd Rinehart, Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management, University of Denver (CO)

2017:  Marty Wilder, Chief of Staff (Retired), University of Mary Washington (VA)

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)