Recognizing Our Alumni Successes

The University of Iowa Distinguished Alumni Awards Committee—which includes members of our Alumni Leadership Council—aims to recognize a broad range of qualified candidates who embody the university’s core values by honoring them with Distinguished Alumni Awards. The committee selects an annual recipient in each of the following categories:

  • The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award recognizes graduates or former students who demonstrate significant accomplishments in their business or professional lives as well as distinguished service to their university, community, state, or nation.
  • The Distinguished Alumni Service Award recognizes graduates or former students who demonstrate specific and meritorious service to their university, community, state, or nation.
  • The Distinguished Alumni Hickerson Recognition Award recognizes graduates or former students for outstanding contributions to their alma mater. This award is named in honor of the late Loren Hickerson (40BA), the university’s first full-time alumni director and an ardent UI champion.
  • The Distinguished Recent Graduate Award recognizes graduates or former students, age 40 or younger at their time of nomination, for significant accomplishments in their business or professional lives as well as for distinguished service to their university, community, state, or nation.
  • The Distinguished Friend of the University Award recognizes individuals who are not alumni for specific and meritorious service that enhances and advances the university.
  • The Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes retired or former faculty for significant achievements and for specific meritorious service that enhances and advances the university. Nominees need not be alumni.
  • The Distinguished Staff Award recognizes retired or former staff for significant achievements and for specific meritorious service that enhances and advances the university. Nominees need not be alumni.


Graduates, former students, faculty, staff, and friends of the University of Iowa may make nominations (the Distinguished Alumni Awards Committee reserves the right to reassign nomination categories, if deemed applicable). Nominators should submit the following:

  • Cover letter that states the nomination category, endorses the candidate’s qualifications, and highlights how the nominee embodies the UI's core values
  • Nominee's vita or professional résumé, including a current address
  • Three or more letters of recommendation from other individuals who support the nomination
  • Any additional information that would further substantiate the nomination


Current members of the University of Iowa Center for Advancement’s board of directors and staff, members of the Alumni Leadership Council, and current university faculty and staff are not eligible to receive these awards.


Nominations for the 2023 awards will close on January 31, 2023. The Distinguished Alumni Awards Committee will meet in April 2023 to review all nominations and make the annual selections. Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented at a special ceremony on the Friday before the University of Iowa’s Homecoming (October 2023).


The University of Iowa Center for Advancement
Distinguished Alumni Awards
One West Park Road
Iowa City, Iowa 52244

For more information, email Nici Bontrager or call 319-467-3607.

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