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 Board of Directors seeks to celebrate our members of our alumni community and pay tribute to those who exemplify our common calling — "Non nobis solum nati sumus." Nominate a Bearcat today!

Honoring accomplished Bearcats

The Alumni Board of Directors seeks to honor the achievements of our community! The Membership and Awards Committee is a group of alumni volunteers comprised of members of the Board of Directors. The committee thoroughly reviews nominations and recommends the slate of finalists to the full Board of Directors for approval by vote. See more details about the alumni awards below.

Celebrating award recipients

Alumni Award recipients are announced each spring, and a celebratory awards ceremony takes place during Alumni Reunion Weekend each year.


Meet the 2018 Recipients

Russ Beaton '60

Russ Beaton '60

Lestle J. Sparks Medallion

Mark Hanken '93

Mark Hanken '93

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Ashley Holmer '02

Ashley Holmer '02

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Daniel P. Santos JD'86

Daniel P. Santos JD'86

Distinguished Alumni Citation
Jon Steiner '63

Jon Steiner '63

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Brandon '08 and Kara '08 Adams

Brandon '08 and Kara '08 Adams

Young Alumni Leadership Award

Colby R. Takeda '11

Colby R. Takeda '11

Young Alumni Leadership Award


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.

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. 

  • The nomination deadline for the 2019 awards cycle was Dec. 10, 2018. Nominations submitted after this deadline will be considered for the 2020 cycle.
  • Nominators need not be affiliated with Willamette.
  • See the criteria for awards for complete details.

Please submit your nominations through the official nomination form (use the online nomination form or call the alumni office to request a PDF or hard copy). By completing the specified fields and providing compelling information, you will assist the committee in their review and selections. You may also submit supporting documentation including curriculum vitae, resume, letters of recommendation, magazine or newspaper clippings, or relevant articles. Nominations will be held in consideration for three years.

Nominate a Bearcat today | See all past Alumni Award recipients | Awards criteria