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American University Alumni Awards

Alumni Awards Eagle trophies

2016 Alumni Awards

Neil Kerwin, SPA/BA '71, John Boyer, SPA/PhD '89, Sandra Walter, Kogod/BSBA '86, Janethe Pena, SIS/BA '02

Program Statement

The American University Alumni Awards are the highest honors presented by the AU Alumni Association on an annual basis. Selected through a highly competitive process, each recipient has made a lasting impact on society and on AU through outstanding professional, philanthropic, or volunteer accomplishments.


Neil Kerwin Alumni Achievement Award:
Renamed in 2016 to commemorate the successes of AU's first alumni president, the Neil Kerwin Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional accomplishments.

Alumni Recognition Award:
The Alumni Recognition Award recognizes alumni who inspire the world around them through service to the community or a philanthropic mission.

Alumni Eagle Award:
The Alumni Eagle Award recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding service to the University and/or the Alumni Association.

Rising Star Award:
The Rising Star Award recognizes young alumni (those who received their degrees within the last 10 years) who are already making significant contributions to greater society through professional or philanthropic work.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Each recipient must have attained notable achievement or made a lasting contribution in his or her professional, philanthropic, or voluntary endeavors.
  • Each recipient must have earned a degree from American University.
  • Each recipient is expected to attend the awards ceremony to accept his or her award, except in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Awards will not be given posthumously.
  • In highly exceptional circumstances, an alumnus/a who has already received one category of alumni award might receive an award in a different category at another point in time.
  • The awards committee is not obligated to select a recipient from each category if applicants do not adequately meet the requirements.

Requirements for Nominations

  • A separate nomination form must be completed for each nominee.
  • In addition to the nomination form, nominators must submit a 1-3 page statement establishing the candidate's qualifications with clear and concise detail as to why he/she should be selected for the award, as well as an additional 1-3 letters of recommendation. Please limit the total number of supporting documents (NOT including the nomination form) to 10 pages.
  • The Awards Committee, comprised of members of the American University Alumni Board, will not conduct independent research on a nominee, and the Committee will only consider information when it is part of a submitted nomination. 
  • The Awards Committee will also not consider nominations that consist solely of a nominee's resume. 
  • Incomplete nomination packets will NOT be considered.

How do I nominate an alumnus/a for an alumni award?

Please submit your nomination form online, along with the additional nomination statement and letter(s) of recommendation. Nominations are due by Friday, May 5. Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations via email or call 202-885-5900 with questions.

Awards Nominations

Know an outstanding alumnus/a? Nominate him or her for the 2018 AU Alumni Awards! Nominations are accepted each spring.

Nomination Form

History of the Alumni Awards

Learn more about the history of the Alumni Awards and see a list of past recipients.

Read History

Meet the 2016 Award Winners

American University is known for producing outstanding alumni who add value to their communities and have global impact.

Meet Winners