Haak Award special to Ewert (video link)
As he prepares to retire after 10 years as FPU President, D. Merrill Ewert can look back on many honors. But the Harold Haak Award from the Fresno Compact is particularly meaningful.
“It’s a great honor to receive this award, having known Dr. Haak and then being the person who replaced him at Fresno Pacific. He’s a man I have enormous respect for. I’m literally sitting in the chair in which he sat,” said Ewert, who often tells how Haak recruited him and called FPU a “gift to the Valley.”
Ewert was presented with the award March 7 during a luncheon at TorNino’s in Fresno. Betty Haak, Harold’s widow, was present.
The Dr. Harold Haak Award for Educational Excellence for Building Business/Education Partnerships has been awarded since 2002 for exemplary leadership to an educator who has promoted business education partnerships. This award is named for Haak, president of California State University, Fresno, from 1980-1991, in recognition of his long service to education and his service as the first executive director of the Fresno Compact.
The Fresno Compact is a coalition of business and community leaders and area school systems that is committed to a long-term effort to improve the achievement levels and skills of young people graduating from local schools. The mission of the compact is to focus community-wide efforts on preparing students for the increasing demands of society and the workplace.
(Some information from a publication by the Fresno Compact and the organization website.)