Alumni Service Award

This award recognizes the service of a volunteer who has had a major impact on the University, its schools, colleges, departments, or faculty, or to the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) or any of its constituent groups. Nominees must be a graduate or a former student of the University. They cannot be a current member of faculty or staff, or a sitting Regent, but retirees are eligible. Alumni Service Awards are not awarded to encourage or reward financial contributions to the University.


Must be a current member of the faculty or staff or an alumnus or alumna of the University.

Nominations must be submitted in the following format:

  • Letter from Nominator: should focus on personal knowledge of the nominee's volunteer accomplishments and reputation. It should demonstrate a legacy of exceptional service.
  • Letter from Dean or Chancellor: demonstrating support for the nomination. (Note: The dean or chancellor may serve as the nominator.)
  • Supporting Letters: three from the nominee's peers; one of the three letters must be from a key collegiate, UMAA, or University employee; again, these should focus on personal knowledge as above. These are in addition to the letter from the nominator and the letter from the dean or chancellor (the dean or chancellor may serve as the nominator).
  • Nomination Summary: 50 words or less, restricted to outlining the nominee's accomplishments and services as a volunteer (see sample citations).
  • Outstanding Service to the University: one-page summary highlighting the individual's volunteer service.
  • Biographical Information: not to exceed five pages and to include current mailing address, email address, and telephone number, date and place of birth, education, University background, and other relevant information (e.g., other public service). Must contain full biographical information on the nominee and document in detail the particular achievements that are the basis for the award.
  • Contact Information: separate document with contact information for nominee, nominator, dean or chancellor, and persons writing supporting letters. Include the mailing address, email address, and phone number for each person (if University employee, use University contact information).

Nomination Submission

The nomination should be submitted to the honors committee of the appropriate college/unit, if one exists. The nomination is then submitted to the President and CEO of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, 200 McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455. If a college/unit does not have an honors committee, the nomination should be submitted directly to the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA). The UMAA Awards Committee reviews nominations and forwards its recommendations to the Senate All-University Honors Committee. Note that language for system campus alumni service award submissions is under consideration.


This process is confidential. No disclosure is to be made to the nominee or others. A nomination approved by the Senate All-University Honors Committee is submitted to the president and, finally, to the Board of Regents for approval. Once the Board of Regents has made a decision and the nominee has accepted, the award is no longer confidential. Nominators should make sure that others involved are aware that the nomination process is confidential.

Additional Information

  • Persons writing letters of nomination should know that their letters will be legally available to the nominee upon request, even to an unsuccessful candidate who becomes aware of the nomination. Nominators should also make sure that writers of supporting letters are aware that their letters, too, will be available on request.
  • The Senate All-University Honors Committee may reject a nomination either for lack of merit or for lack of adequate documentation. In the latter case the nomination may be revised and re-submitted.
  • In general, award and citation costs are borne by the Alumni Association, award ceremony costs by the nominating unit, and travel expenses by the awardee. Units sponsoring Alumni Service Awards are encouraged to provide travel support when funds are available.

If you have any questions about the nominating process, please contact Vickie Courtney, director, University Senate Office and University Awards and Honors, at 612-625-4805 or

Helpful Links

Nomination Deadlines

Nomination Submission Deadlines for 2018-19

  • September 5, 2018
  • October 31, 2018
  • January 23, 2019
  • March 20, 2019
  • April 17, 2019

It is recommended you allow at least six months from the time you begin the process to the time the award is presented. To help you determine the date to submit a nomination, see table with nomination submission deadlines, and for each submission deadline, the committee meeting date the nomination would be considered, and if approved by the committee, the meeting date the nomination would be considered by the Board of Regents.