Honorary Namings

Significant University assets may be named in honor of an individual or a non-University entity to recognize service, dedication or meritorious contributions to the institution when the naming is not associated with a gift or sponsorship. These assets should not be named for a person who is currently on the regular faculty or staff of the University, or a sitting Regent, but may be named for a person still living who has retired or left the service of the University. See the Board of Regents Policy on Namings.

The All-University Honors Committee manages the process for the following honorary namings:

  • Colleges, Schools, and University-Level Academic Programs
  • Buildings and Other Significant University Assets


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

Nominations must be submitted in the following format:

  • Letter from Nominator: should focus, from personal knowledge, on the services of the nominee or the philanthropic activities that justify the nomination. If not honoring an individual, demonstrate rationale for proposed naming.
  • Letter from Dean, Chancellor, or Vice President: demonstrating support for the nomination. (Note: The dean, chancellor, or vice president may serve as the nominator.)
  • Supporting Letters: at least two, not more than four, focusing as above on the services or philanthropy of the nominee. If not honoring an individual, letters of support should come from campus constituents. These are in addition to the letter from the nominator and the letter from the dean, chancellor, or vice president (the dean, chancellor, or vice president may serve as the nominator).
  • Nomination Summary: 250 words or less, restricted to outlining the nominee's accomplishments, excluding degrees and appointments. If not honoring an individual, summary should outline rationale for proposed naming.
  • Dossier: not more than 12 pages. If not naming for an individual, not applicable.
  • Contact Information: separate document with contact information for nominee, nominator, dean, chancellor, or vice president, 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

Submit To the honors committee of the appropriate college/unit, if one exists. The nomination is then forwarded to the Senate All-University Honors Committee. If a college/unit does not have an honors committee, the nomination should be submitted directly to the Senate All-University Honors Committee, c/o Vickie Courtney, at uawards@umn.edu.

Nominations must be submitted as a single PDF file with the email subject line “Nomination Submission to the Senate All-University Honors Committee.”


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 such 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.
  • Please note that there is a different process for namings of buildings for past presidents. See the Board of Regents Policy on Namings (PDF) for the process.
  • For namings that are not honorific, see the above Board of Regents Policy.

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 courtney@umn.edu.

Nomination Deadlines

Nomination Submission Deadlines for 2021-22

  • September 22, 2021
  • November 17, 2021
  • February 16, 2022
  • March 23, 2022

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.