The Raymond L. Gardner Alumnus of the Year Award was donated by the Seattle Alumni Club in memory of a Washington Phi who served as a member of the General Council. The Gardner Award was first presented in 1960 and is annually awarded to an alumnus who best exemplifies the teachings of The Bond of Phi Delta Theta through his activities in higher education and community service.
This year’s very worthy recipient of one of the Fraternity’s most prestigious awards was initiated into Phi Delta Theta by the Florida Delta Chapter at the University of Miami in 1962. Brother Dasburg later transferred to the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he received his bachelor of science in industrial engineering in 1966, his MBA in 1971, and his juris doctorate in 1973. He also became involved with the Florida Alpha Chapter, as one of their strongest supporters, and currently serves on the chapter’s House Corporation.
Brother John H. Dasburg served his country in the US Navy from 1967-1969, including a year in Vietnam, and then as a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Reserves from 1969-1976.
Brother Dasburg’s illustrious career spans almost 40 years. He is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner of ASTAR USA LLC, an aviation enterprise. Previously, he served as Chairman, President and CEO of the Burger King Corporation.
John’s greatest business achievement may have been rescuing Northwest Airlines as CEO from the verge of bankruptcy in the 1990s. Prior to his appointment at Northwest, he served in numerous executive positions at the Marriott Corporation. He was President of the Lodging Group and Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of its parent corporation. John began his professional career at the accounting firm KPMG where he was named a Partner.
Brother Dasburg has received many awards for his business success and civic activities. He was named a White House Fellow by President Bush in 1991. In 2001, he was a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans and the Commercial Air Transport Laureate Award. He serves on the Board of Directors of Florida Council of 100, Mercy Hospital and Mercy Foundation, and is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Florida State University System and the UF Board of Trustees.
John and his wife, Mary Lou, have been loyal and generous in giving back to their alma mater, the University of Florida. Their gifts include an endowed chair in engineering, a professorship in corporate law and an endowed business chair. The Dasburgs also established an endowment for scholarships for student athletes and funds for the construction of a new president’s residence and Hough Hall, which houses the Hough Graduate School of Business.
The Dasburgs also founded The Mary Lou and John H. Dasburg Endowed Professorship in Cancer Genomics at the Mayo Clinic where John serves as an Emeritus Public Trustee. He was recognized with the University of Florida’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1998 and is a Life Member of the UF Alumni Association. Brother Dasburg was awarded the first-ever honorary Doctor of Commerce by the University of Florida during its doctoral commencement in 2014. Also in 2014, John became a member of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation Founders Club for his generosity to the International Fraternity.
For his enduring dedication and support of the Fraternity and higher education, it is with great pride and gratitude, that the General Council of Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity recognizes Brother John H. Dasburg with the Raymond L. Gardner Alumnus of the Year Award for 2015.