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Manny Cunard, Former NACAS Executive Director, Passed Away

Manny Cunard, NACAS Executive Director from 1993-2001, passed away March 28, 2018. Cunard spent five decades dedicated to enriching the campus experience.

“Manny was a great friend, both to the association and to the campus services industry as a whole. His legacy of championing students and standing out as a thought leader in auxiliary services will carry on for years to come,” said NACAS CEO Kelsey Harmon Finn.

In addition to serving as NACAS president, Cunard was a long-time member and president of the Association of College Unions International (ACUI). He also worked in auxiliary services at Colorado State University, Wesleyan University, and Brown University; lending his expertise to multiple operations; including student unions, card services, dining services, and bookstores.  

“Manny brought great expertise in student unions management to NACAS and was always one of the most creative and collaborative minds in the business,” said David Lord, NACAS Past President, 1992. “[I have] many fond memories of discussions with Manny when he was president of ACUI and I was president of NACAS about how we could grow both associations. He was a great Coloradan and I enjoyed our friendship for many years.”

In 2006, Cunard launched Campus Life Concepts LLC, which was formed to support colleges and universities considering renovation, expansion and re-organization of student life and student service organizations on campus.

“[Manny was] one of, if not, the most creative, conceptual, passionate and high energy individual I have had the opportunity to work with during my professional career,” said Ron Martel, NACAS Past President, 2013. “His commitment and dedication to whatever he undertook was unyielding and he always made time to give back, whether it was through mentoring aspiring student personnel graduate students, young professionals in the field, and/or through community service based projects.”

Cunard was passionate about giving back to the community. He spent the last decade of his life volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and served on the board of Old Colony affiliate in Massachusetts, later serving as the Executive Director, and having an instrumental role in the organization’s most recent build.

“A renaissance man of sorts who could accomplish anything he put his mind to,” Martel said. “He has left an indelible mark on higher education, student support services and many of us in the field – he will long be remembered.”