Center for Indian Education at ASU honored with the Spirit of Diné College award

Tsaile, Arizona – September 19, 2018– Diné College announced today that they would recognize Center for Indian Education at Arizona State University with the Spirit of Diné College award, at their Diné College Bi’olta’a (Student) Scholarship Gala to be held at the Scottsdale Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

The Spirit of Diné College award recognizes the commitment and dedication of the Center for Indian Education at ASU, who was tasked with creating the feasibility study in 1968 that helped pave the path of the higher education institution known as Diné College today.

After receiving a grant from the Office of Navajo Economic Opportunity (ONEO) the tribe reached out to the Center for Indian Education at ASU to create a plan that allowed the college founders with a roadmap to the realities of building not only the first tribally controlled college in the United States but establishing a unique curriculum that reflected Navajo philosophy, honored Navajo history and created a space for Navajo language within a college.

Dr. Charles “Monty” Roessel, President of Diné College, explained, “the feasibility plan was created with the Navajo philosophy of learning, (thinking, planning, implementation, and reflection). This is one reason the college has endured the test of time. Today it seems obvious that a Navajo perspective in higher education has a place. But in 1968, this was a radical idea.”

The team from ASU included Dr. Guy D. McGrath, founding Dean of College of Education, Dr. Irving W. Stout, Dean of Graduate College, Dr. Bruce Meador and George A. Gill.

Throughout the fifty years, Diné College has developed a very successful relationship with ASU and has forged many milestones together.

“This was not the first time that ASU has successfully partnered with our college. When Navajo Community College took the bold step to offer a baccalaureate degree.” Roessel added, “It was Arizona State University that once again created a roadmap to a four-year college by partnering to create a four-year degree in teacher education. Today, Diné College offers eight baccalaureate degrees.”

The Diné College Bi’olta’a (Student) Scholarship Gala will begin at 6:00 pm with a silent auction featuring American Indian art & jewelry, as well as gifts and services, from a variety of businesses. The gala dinner and program entertainment are scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm.

Diné College is inviting all to consider supporting their goal of raising funds for student scholarships. Diné College is a 501(C)3 organization, and contributions to the event may be tax-deductible.

For more information about the Diné College Bi’olta’a (Student) Scholarship Gala, go to or for additional questions, contact Benita Lopez at the Office of the President by email at [email protected]

About Diné College

Diné College is the first tribally controlled and accredited collegiate institution in the United States. Established in 1968 as Navajo Community College, it was later renamed Diné College. The Navajo Nation sought to create an institution of higher education that encouraged Navajo youth to become contributing members of the Navajo Nation and the world.

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