Nicholas Colangelo is an innovative leader whose many contributions have advanced the university and the field of gifted education in significant ways.
Colangelo arrived at the University of Iowa in 1977 and quickly established himself as one of the earliest voices and leading experts in the emerging field of gifted education. As the result of extensive outreach to educators, the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development was established in 1988, with Colangelo named as its founding director. Through his effective leadership, the center has grown to serve the needs of thousands of students and hundreds of educators. Colangelo's scholarship may be best known through the internationally acclaimed report, "A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students," which has been translated into nine languages and downloaded more than 150,000 times with greater than four million hits to the website.
Colangelo dedicated his entire professional career to the University of Iowa and has served in various capacities, including on faculty senate and the Presidential Committee on Athletics. He served with distinction as dean of the UI College of Education from 2012–2016. As emeritus dean, Colangelo continues to represent the university as an active donor and advocate.
"Nick leaves things much better than he finds them," says UI College of Education Professor Debora Liddell. "We are a better university because of his love and commitment."Hear from Nicholas
Since 1963, the University of Iowa has annually recognized accomplished alumni and friends with Distinguished Alumni Awards. Awards are presented in seven categories: Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Faculty, Staff, Recent Graduate, and Friend of the University.