University of Delaware

Award honors Mary Custis Straughn

Vice provost for diversity seeks nominations for Disability Advocacy Award


8:22 a.m., March 2, 2016--The University of Delaware Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity is seeking nominations for the newly established Mary Custis Straughn Excellence in Higher Education Disability Advocacy Award.

Straughn, who received her bachelor’s degree in 1955 and her master’s degree in 1961, both from the College of Arts and Sciences, developed multiple sclerosis at age 38. She advocated for the rights of people with disabilities and created educational opportunities for them. 

Honors Stories

National Medal of Science

President Barack Obama recently presented the National Medal of Science to University of Delaware alumnus Rakesh Jain.

Warren Award

Rosalind Johnson, assistant dean for student success in the NUCLEUS Program in UD's College of Arts and Sciences, was presented the John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award during a May 26 ceremony.

Her legacy has endured through the Mary Custis Straughn Endowment for Disabled Students at UD. For 25 years, the endowment has supported a variety of disability support services on campus. The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990. 

The award will recognize a member of the University community whose advocacy, leadership, research, teaching, or service promotes access and excellence for people with disabilities in higher education, and contributes to the creation of a University culture that engages and embraces disability within its vision for diversity.

The nomination form is available online. The deadline for nominations is March 15.

The University will honor the award recipient at a special event on April 14 at 3:30 p.m. The event will feature guest speaker Lydia Brown, a disability rights advocate, law student and chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council. A reception will follow the event. 

For more information on the Mary Custis Straughn Excellence in Higher Education Disability Advocacy Award, or any of the other award programs coordinated by the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity, contact

News Media Contact

University of Delaware
Communications and Public Affairs

UDaily is produced by
Communications and Public Affairs

The Academy Building
105 East Main Street
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716 | USA
Phone: (302) 831-2792