UF Honors & Awards
Following are the guidelines for nominating individuals for University Awards.
Other than the earned doctorate, the greatest recognition the University of Florida can give an individual is an honorary degree. Such awards are not given lightly, and relatively few are awarded. The awarding of an honorary degree is recognition of eminent achievement in scholarship or high distinction in public service which exemplifies the purposes and ideals of the University of Florida. More particularly, honorary degrees are awarded for sustained achievements of lasting significance and value, not for a single accomplishment. Preference is given to individuals who are connected in some significant and meaningful way with the state or with the university.
Under no circumstances can a college or other unit of the University of Florida grant an honorary degree and only the University can give the Distinguished Alumnus or Distinguished Achievement Awards. However, colleges may provide other recognitions or honors when it is clearly not a University award. Examples of these awards could include “Outstanding Psychology Graduate” or “Distinguished Journalism Alumnus.”
Because the University of Florida is a public university and part of the State University System, the university’s policy is that elected or appointed officials of the State of Florida or the Federal Government to whom the university is directly or indirectly answerable are ineligible for honorary degrees. Faculty members, officers, and employees of the university are also ineligible.
Anyone can nominate an individual for an honorary degrees, the nomination must be supported by individuals who are prominent in the candidate’s field of accomplishment and in a position to judge the candidate’s contributions and achievements. For nominees in the areas of scholarship or the creative arts, the appropriate academic authorities on campus are normally consulted before a recommendation is made by the Committee on Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials. For nominees in the area of public service and achievement, assessment of a nominee’s accomplishments and standing is normally solicited from the appropriate, knowledgeable persons or agencies. Strong support from such knowledgeable authorities in the different areas is essential for the success of a nomination.
After review of all materials, the Committee makes its recommendation to the Faculty Senate. Upon approval by the senate, the recommendation then goes to the president of the university, who then makes a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for action. The Board has final authority.
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Nominee must be an alumnus of the university and must have excelled in his/her chosen field or must have performed outstanding service for the university. Generally, the committee consults with the dean and/or vice president from the area appropriate to the candidate before approval is granted. Upon approval by theCommittee on Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials, the recommendation is forwarded to the president of the university for final approval.
Distinguished Achievement Award
This award is given to individuals for exceptional achievements in a chosen profession, for demonstrated leadership, and for other exemplary accomplishments that merit the special recognition of the university. Nominees must be persons whose distinctive accomplishments merit the special recognition of the university. The nominee need not be an alumnus. Upon approval by the Committee on Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials, the recommendation is forwarded to the president of the university for final approval.
Stephen C. O’Connell Distinguished Service Award
This recognition is awarded to an alumnus or alumna of the University of Florida who has highly distinguished him/herself through exceptional public service to the state of Florida or the nation at large. Such public service is defined as any of the following: service in elected or appointed public office; service in public or private education at any level; service in any judicial system or law enforcement agency; service in any volunteer agency or entity devoted to any aspect of public welfare. Nominee must be widely recognized as a friend of the University. Upon approval by the Committee on Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials, the recommendation is forwarded to the president of the university for final approval.
Deadlines and Nominations
The Committee on Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials meets twice a year (March and October) to consider nominations. For the Committee to act on nomination, the complete package (nomination, 3 letters of support and biographical information) must be received before the meeting.
The nomination package for the honorary degree, distinguished alumnus award and distinguished achievement award should include background information on the nominee, a resume and three or more letters of recommendation. The complete nomination package should be submitted to:
Donna K. Stricker
Director, Presidential Events & Commencement
PO Box 113150
Gainesville, FL 32611-3117