The Penn State Alumni Association is committed to recognizing alumni from across the academic spectrum, especially those from diverse backgrounds and those who are making a positive impact to ensure a truly diverse, inclusive, and equitable institution and the association offers a number of awards for outstanding alumni.
Alumni Achievement Award
The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni 35 years of age and younger for their extraordinary professional accomplishments. These prominent young alumni are nominated by an academic college and invited by the President of the University to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty, and administrators. They demonstrate to students that Penn State alumni succeed in exceptional fashion at an early age.
Alumni Fellow Award
The Alumni Fellow Award is the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association. Since 1973, the Alumni Fellow Award has been given to select alumni who, as leaders in their professional fields, are nominated by an academic college and accept an invitation from the President of the University to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty, and administrators.
Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed by Penn State upon an outstanding alumna or alumnus. The award salutes the achievements of outstanding alumni whose "personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater." The award is an engraved bronze medallion, matching pendant, and framed inscribed certificate.
Volunteer Group Awards
Affiliate groups are recognized for outstanding programming in each of the following categories;
- Young Alumni Involvement Award
- Professional Development Award
- Fundraising Award
- Scholarship Development Award
- New Innovative Event or Program Award
- Joint Activity Award
- Outstanding Service Project Award
- Student Interaction Award
- Membership Award
- Fellowship and Networking Award
Nominations are due at the beginning of March each year, and winners are selected by the Awards Committee of Alumni Council. Selected groups are then recognized at a dinner during the fall meeting of Alumni Council. A program grant of $500 is given to each of the winning groups to be used for future initiatives. GEMS has won a few of these awards. To learn more, please visit the GEMS Volunteer Group Awards won.
Volunteer Individual Awards
K. David Weidner Diversity Award
The K. David Weidner Diversity Award recognizes an individual who has significantly contributed to fostering diversity at Penn State by sharing or volunteering his or her talent, time, and resources on behalf of the University.
Philip Philip Mitchell Alumni Service Award
The Philip Philip Mitchell Alumni Service Award recognizes an individual who has significantly contributed in the area of public service by sharing or volunteering his or her talent, time, and resources on behalf of the University.