Fresno State won two gold awards in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s (CASE) 2014 international Circle of Excellence awards program.

  • The university’s fundraising effort, The Campaign for Fresno State, was named best comprehensive campaign in the fundraising category, beating 11 other entries.
  • Photographer Cary Edmondson’s “Catch the Wave” photo of Fresno State football standout Davante Adams topped 95 other entries and won gold in the individual photographs category.

In addition, Fresno State recently was recognized as a winner of the CASE Educational Fundraising Award for sustained excellence in fundraising.

Dr. Peter N. Smits, the vice president for University Advancement who led the Campaign for Fresno State, said, “Being recognized by CASE for the best comprehensive campaign and for our overall fundraising performance is testament to our outstanding work of staff and volunteers in engaging donors with the university.

“I am proud of the entire Advancement Division staff for all they accomplished in the campaign, which concluded last year at $214.2 million, 7 percent over goal,” said Smits, who retires on June 30 after 20 years at the university.

“I’m also pleased that Cary Edmondson was recognized for his outstanding photography,” Smits said. “He does a tremendous job of capturing unique images that demonstrate everything that’s great about our university.”

This marks the fourth international CASE award for Edmondson, a 2002 Fresno State alum. He was the 2009 International University Photographer of the Year and won two top awards in 2010 for individual and university photography.

The photo was part of a project for Fresno State’s Department of Athletics. For years the fan base of the school has been referred to as the “Red Wave.” With that name in mind, Edmondson helped implement a new “Catch the Wave” campaign by photographing a variety of athletes performing in water.

The dynamic photograph of Adams was used to publicly unveil the football team’s new, alternate black uniforms as well as for posters, social media and other promotions in stadiums and arenas on campus.

This year, 629 higher education institutions, independent schools and nonprofits from around the world submitted more than 3,000 entries in 100 categories for consideration in the Circle of Excellence awards program. Judges gave 283 bronze, silver and gold awards. Thirteen institutions received the top prize of a grand gold award.

CASE is one of the largest international associations of education institutions, serving more than 3,650 universities, colleges, schools and related organizations in more than 80 countries. CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information and standards in the fields of alumni relations, communications, educational fundraising and marketing.

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