WGU President Honored with Prestigious Distance Learning Award at National Conference Salt Lake City — Western Governors University, www.wgu.edu, President Dr. Robert W. Mendenhall has received the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning. The celebrated award, announced last week at the USDLA’s National Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, is presented annually to individuals engaged in advancing distance learning. A leader and innovator in higher education, Dr. Mendenhall has served as President of Western Governors University, the nation’s only competency-based online university, since 1999, the year that WGU accepted its first student. Under his leadership, WGU has grown to a national university, with more than 18,000 students in all 50 U.S states, setting the standard for quality and affordability in accredited, online higher education. Non-profit WGU offers 50 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in high-demand career fields such as Business, Education, Information Technology, and Healthcare, including Nursing. "As a premier organization for the entire distance learning profession, we are honoring Dr. Mendenhall and Western Governors University for leadership in the industry," said Dr. John G. Flores, CEO of USDLA. “Dr. Mendenhall has raised the bar of excellence and we are truly honored by his contributions to the distance learning industry." The USDLA Awards were created to acknowledge major accomplishments in distance learning and to highlight those distance learning instructors, programs, and professionals who have achieved and demonstrated extraordinary results through the use of online, videoconferencing, satellite and blended learning delivery technologies.