The award recognizes Nelsen for his contributions to education and the Rio Grande Valley since he assumed the leadership of the University in 2010. Nelsen has successfully led the University through its transformation thus far to a new university - UT Rio Grande Valley - and the creation of a new medical school in South Texas.
Nelsen, a former RGVHCC board member, was presented the award at the organization's annual Noche de Gala event.
Past Golden Eagle Award recipients include U.S. Congressman Rubén Hinojosa, State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, and Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia, among others.
Entertainment at the event included performances by UTPA's Mariachi Aztlán and the University's Ballet Folklórico, performing dances from the Mexico state of Nuevo León.
Nelsen is pictured at the event alongside his wife Jody.
Go to the UTPA Facebook Album to enjoy more photos of the event.