Award of Distinction

This award recognizes those who have attained distinction in their field, profession, and/or public or volunteer service and who are not an alumnus or alumna of the University or a current or former member of the University faculty, staff, Board of Regents, or student body. Awards of Distinction are not awarded to encourage or reward financial contributions to the University.


Must be a current member of the faculty, staff, or student body 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 distinction in their field, profession, and/or public or volunteer service.
  • 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: three from both the nominee's peers inside and outside the University, requiring at minimum one from outside the University; 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, chancellor, or vice president (again, the dean, chancellor, or vice president may serve as the nominator).
  • Nomination Summary: 250 words or less, restricted to outlining the nominee's accomplishments (see sample citations).
  • Outstanding Accomplishments: one page summary highlighting the individual's accomplishments.
  • Biographical Information: to include nominee's current mailing address, email address, and telephone number, date of birth, education, employment, and professional and public and/or volunteer 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, 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 Erin Heath, at [email protected].

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 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 University Awards and Honors, award ceremony costs by the nominating unit, and travel expenses by the awardee. Units sponsoring an Award of Distinction are encouraged to provide travel support when funds are available.

If you have any questions about the nominating process, please contact Erin Heath, director, University Senate Office and University Awards and Honors, at 612-625-4805 or [email protected]

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