VCU Honors Wooldridge with Distinguished Service Award
August 23, 2018
By Pamela Stallsmith
Wilder School Professor Blue E. Wooldridge, D.P.A., received the university’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award during the 36th annual faculty convocation program held Wednesday, August 22.
Wooldridge, professor of public administration and policy, has spent more than 30 years of his impressive career at VCU. He is a Fellow and past chair of the Standing Panel on Society Equity in Governance of the National Academy of Public Administration, where he served two terms on the Board of Directors and on the Budget and Planning Integration subpanel of NAPA’s FBI Transformation Study.
“Blue is just a very passionate servant, someone who also finds ways to help other people find their way to service by bringing them all to the table,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., at the ceremony. “He shapes people’s lives through inclusion.”
Wooldridge’s imprint has been felt locally, regionally, nationally and globally. He has conducted numerous training programs for U.S. and international elected and appointed officials in such topics as the consequences of workforce diversity, integrating social equity/justice into public policy, public budgeting, strategic planning, performance measurement, and financial management.
“At this stage in his career, he could easily ‘downsize’ his service, but he approaches each new opportunity — whether it is service to the M.P.A. program, the Wilder School, the university or the public administration field — with enthusiasm and authentic engagement,” said Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., interim dean of the Wilder School and professor of public administration and policy as well as recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Service Award.
He received the Teaching Excellence Award given by the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech and twice received the then-School of Community and Public Affairs’ Excellence in University Service Award at VCU. He also was honored with the College of Humanities and Sciences Distinguished Service Award in 1999. He received the Wilder School Excellence in Service Award in 2018. He is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Community Multicultural Enrichment Faculty Award, and the Riese-Melton Award for contributions to cross-culture relations, Virginia Commonwealth University, for 2016.
“It’s been a great 31 years at VCU,” Wooldridge said in accepting the award. “Guided by the philosophy that the purpose of public affairs and public organizations is the reduction of economic, social and psyche suffering and the enhancement of life opportunities for those within and outside the organization, I am delighted to be at a school of public affairs and a university, and working with colleagues, who value community service and social justice and inclusion for all.”