Meet the Winners – Laura Ipsen

The trophies have been given out, toasts have been made and the canapés have been eaten. After four fantastic global events recognizing the work of organizations and individuals across the cloud industry, the Digital Revolution Awards 2023 season has come to a close.

Throughout the Digital Revolution Awards 2023 events, we saw many outstanding winners take the stage, receiving a round of applause for making a positive impact on our world through cloud technology.

Now it’s time to shine a spotlight on some of those worthy victors and showcase the fantastic work that made them winners in the Digital Revolution Awards.

In this Meet the Winners blog, we’re getting to know the winner of our Outstanding Leader of the Year award, Laura Ipsen.

The Outstanding Leader of the Year award is always one of the most exciting and inspiring awards we give out. Each year, we hear about leaders in the tech industry who are walking the walk, embodying transformative values like courage, vision, compassion, or innovativeness every day and leading their people to success.

We don’t just look for CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, Directors, and Managers. An outstanding leader can be anyone who steps up and leads the way for others, drives business growth, or champions innovative practices.

We were looking for someone who leads by example, advocates for others, and empowers those around them to be their best. And all our fantastic shortlisted nominees demonstrated exceptional guidance, direction, integrity, decision-making, or inspirational leadership throughout their work in the cloud space.

But in the end, it was Laura Ipsen who took the prize this year.

Laura has been working to spur innovation and modernization across multiple industries for over 25 years, and much of her career has seen her drive the adoption of cutting-edge technology solutions in high-growth industries through her previous positions at Oracle Corporation, Microsoft and Cisco Systems.

Today, as CEO and President of leading technology solutions provider Ellucian, she leads her company in providing technology support to more than 2,900 higher education institutions in more than 50 countries.

Since joining Ellucian in 2017, Laura has led the company through a huge, industry-leading transformation, aiming to create more innovative solutions for the higher education technology sector.

“We’re a mission-based company, and we’re here to serve higher education and make sure that we all learn from the opportunities moving forward,” said Laura.

“What I’m most proud of is that we’re supporting students and making sure that they have an opportunity to achieve. We support over 22 million students, and we provide that core infrastructure, but we also make sure that we’re taking care of students’ mental wellbeing and their overall success, so we’re a company that gives back.”

Under Laura’s leadership, Ellucian’s journey to the cloud has delivered massive benefits, including better security, stability, and productivity for its 1,200+ clients with cloud-based solutions and for their students.

In 2021, she steered the company through a successful sale to private equity firms Blackstone and Vista Equity Partners, securing long-term investment and a commitment to growth. With this new capital behind her, Laura is executing a strategy of accelerated digital transformation that will see Ellucian enhance its open SaaS platform and strive for international growth.

As part of that growth, Laura led Ellucian’s acquisition of leading Ed-Tech firm CampusLogic, which provides student financial solutions to more than 800 institutions. By integrating CampusLogic into its existing platform, Ellucian is increasing its focus on student financial success. This new acquisition delivers financial aid data that is critical to improving recruiting, enrollment, and completion outcomes for students and institutions.

Laura’s vision for Ellucian includes extended capabilities to foster student wellbeing, and hopes that the integration of CampusLogic will enable the company to support financial success, and better address one of the most pressing and stress-inducing needs of today’s students.

Laura’s impressive work has previously netted her such accolades as Cloud Computing, SaaS, or Internet Female CEO of the Year at the 2022 Globee CEO World Awards and a 2021 ASU+GSV Power of Women award. She was also named one of 2022’s Top 100 EdTech Influencers by EdTech Digest and was recognized in 2021 and 2022 by Virginia Business as part of the Virginia 500: Power List and the Women Leadership List.

“I think the Digital Revolution Awards are a chance for us all to come together as a community to solve some of the toughest challenges,” said Laura, “whether that’s climate change or solving cancer. Thinking about new technologies that are digital and that are already here—like artificial intelligence—and the learning that we’ve done is what’s most important.”

So how does Laura feel about securing another award for her outstanding leadership? “I’m quite humbled and honored because I know that there were many leaders that were nominated,” she said.

“This award is really an exciting opportunity to showcase Ellucian as a leader. This recognition is really a testament to the collective strength of everyone at Ellucian, our partners, the employees that wake up every day to serve the mission, and also the amazing private equity owners that we have in Blackstone and Vista.

“It reaffirms what we do and our mission, which is to power higher education institutions so they can empower student success. We’re a special company, and this just gets us more excited to double down on what we’re doing to make sure we’re supporting institutions and giving them what they need to create opportunities for every student to have a shot.”

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