Suffolk University Emeritus Director of Athletics James E. Nelson was a 2013 recipient of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Commissioner’s Award, presented for significant accomplishment in his profession.

The award recognizes meritorious service to the ECAC or a member institution. Nelson, who recently retired after 47 years of service to Suffolk University, was one of four honorees this year.

Nelson came to Suffolk University in 1966 as an assistant director of athletics and men's assistant basketball coach. He was named director of athletics in 1975. He retired in August but continues to teach.

Nelson has watched over Suffolk University athletics as it has grown into one of the top programs among NCAA Division-III schools in the New England region. In his years at Suffolk, 27 Rams' teams have made trips to ECAC Division-III New England Championship tournaments.

He has served on several boards within the ECAC and is chair of the ECAC Division-III Men's Basketball Tournament Committee, a position he has held since 1982. He has worked on the ECAC Member Officiating Fees Committee; the ECAC's Katherine Ley Award Committee and served as chairman from 1999-2001 on the Infractions and Eligibility Committee.

This past June, Nelson was awarded the New England Basketball Hall of Fame’s Icon Award.