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 the members of our alumni community and pay tribute to those who exemplify our common calling — "Non nobis solum nati sumus."

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 2019 Recipients

Mike Bennett '70

Mike Bennett '70

Lestle J. Sparks Medallion

Madge Bauer '69

Madge Bauer '69

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Nikolas Caoile '00

Nikolas Caoile '00

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Melvin Henderson-Rubio '74

Melvin Henderson-Rubio '74

Distinguished Alumni Citation
Dmitri Palmateer '96

Dmitri Palmateer '96

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Manuel Velazquez-Garay MBA'14

Manuel Velazquez-Garay MBA'14

Young Alumni Leadership Award


Each year, we recognize alumni with the following awards

Distinguished Alumni Citation

Many of Willamette's graduates have made waves in their own ways — these awards showcase them.

  • Distinguished Alum of the Year: awarded to an alum who has achieved tremendous accomplishments in the last 1-3 years.
  • Professional Achievement: awarded to an alum who has demonstrated success in their career over a lifetime.
  • Non Nobis Solum: awarded to an alum who has made significant contribution to society, the world or however one defines "community."

Young Alumni Leadership Award

The Young Alumni Leadership Award is given to recent graduates who have already made noteworthy contributions to their communities, their industry or their causes.

  • Innovative Achievement: awarded to an alum in recognition of significant achievements in entrepreneurship, leadership or innovation since graduating from Willamette.
  • Service to Willamette: recognizes an alum for going beyond the call of duty to demonstrate commitment to the Willamette community. 

The Sparks Medallion

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, Class of 1919.

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 2020 award is Oct. 28, 2019.
  • Nominators need not be affiliated with Willamette.
  • See the criteria for awards for complete details.

Please submit your nominations through the official nomination forms (use the online nomination form corresponding to the award 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. Nominations will be held in consideration for three years.

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