Alumni Awards

Bearcats across the generations and around the world live out our motto and contribute to their communities, professions and causes in a variety of ways. The Alumni Association seeks to celebrate our own and pay tribute to those who exemplify our common calling — Non nobis solum nati sumus. Nominate a Bearcat today!

Each year, we recognize alumni with the following awards:

  • The Young Alumni Leadership Award recognizes graduates from the past 10 years for outstanding leadership in their vocation, community service and service to the University.
  • The Distinguished Alumni Citation recognizes Willamette graduates who, in professional achievement and service to their communities, represent the University in an exemplary manner by embodying its highest ideals as exemplified in our motto "Not Unto Ourselves Alone Are We Born."
  • The Sparks Medallion recognizes graduates whose lifetime loyalty and service to Willamette reflect the ideals of one of the University's most devoted alumni, Lestle J. Sparks '19.

Nominate a Bearcat today | See all past Alumni Award recipients

Nominations for these awards come from you

If you know of someone doing remarkable things, we would love to know about it! Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis for the following year's selection. Submit your nominations through the online nomination form or printable form. The deadline for 2015 Alumni Awards is November 30, 2015. See the criteria for awards below.

The WUAA Alumni Awards Committee thoroughly reviews nominations and recommends the slate of finalists to the WUAA Board of Directors for approval. Recipients are announcement in the spring and a celebration takes place during Alumni Weekend each year.

Meet the 2015 Recipients

Elizabeth Phillips '05
Young Alumni Leadership Award

Yesenia Gallardo '09
Young Alumni Leadership Award

Harold Bugado '66
Distinguished Alumni Citation

Cindy Bunker '80, JD'83
Distinguished Alumni Citation

Mary Sue Gellatly Short '64
Distinguished Alumni Citation

G. Elton Graves '69
Distinguished Alumni Citation

Paul Boaden '77
Lestle J. Sparks Medallion

Alumni Awards Criteria

  • Nominees and honorees shall have completed at least four semesters at Willamette; it is not necessary for them to have graduated from the university.
  • For the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Sparks Medallion, the honorees should be at least 10 years post-graduation from Willamette.
  • The nominees and honorees shall be regarded as having made significant contributions within his/her chosen profession, including volunteer activities (unpaid work) in service to his/her community or to the public at large. In the case of the Sparks Award, the honorees shall have made significant investments of time in service to Willamette (as an employee or as a volunteer) or significant financial contributions to some aspect of the university, such as scholarship funding or capital campaigns.
  • While it is preferable that the honorees are living, it is not a requirement.
  • The honorees should be nominated by someone other than themselves. The nominator does not need to be a Willamette alumnus or affiliated with Willamette. The nominator should, however, know of the nominee’s work and be able to speak not only to the high regard in which the nominee is held, but also to the relevance of his/her actions to Willamette’s mission and the spirit of the award(s). To aid in the process, the nominator should provide documentation such as a resume of the nominee, articles (by and/or about the nominee) and any other print materials which would assist the committee in evaluating the nominee. The nominator does not need to know the nominee personally.
  • If a nominee is not selected to be honored in the year of his/her nomination, the appropriate documents and information should be placed in a file for future consideration in subsequent years. Nomination information will be retained for a minimum of three years.
  • Honorees are representatives of the university and should be held to an appropriate standard of ethical and personal conduct, in concert with the values of the university.
  • Honorees should represent a variety of fields and lifetime accomplishments; these awards should demonstrate that alumni in a wide variety of backgrounds, all with roots at Willamette, excel in their chosen fields. All colleges should have distinguished alumni honorees over time, and honorees should represent the breadth of liberal arts majors over time.
  • Honorees should not be current staff members of Willamette University.

Submit nominations via the online nomination form or printable form.
The deadline for 2016 Alumni Awards is November 30, 2015.