Carnegie Mellon University

CMU Alumni Awards — Nominate a Deserving Tartan Today!

CMU's greatest assets are its people — the alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends who have forged CMU's legacy of innovation and excellence. Since 1950, the CMU Alumni Awards have recognized alumni in the CMU community for their service to the university and their impact on the world, and for their accomplishments and leadership in their professional or vocational fields.

Help us honor outstanding Tartans with these four, easy-to-complete steps:

  1. Access the online nomination form.
  2. Gather a professional summary, such as a resume, a bio or even a LinkedIn profile, for your nominee.
  3. Collect at least one letter of support. Please note this letter cannot be drafted by the nominator. Up to two letters may be submitted.
  4. Submit the online nomination form and attach the professional summary and letter(s) of support.

Alumni Awards Categories

Founders Medal for Outstanding Service and Exceptional Achievement

Presented to an alumnus who has demonstrated outstanding dedication to Carnegie Mellon University and whose professional or vocational achievements are of an exceptional nature. This award is reserved for those alumni who have given generously of their time, talent and leadership in service to the university, and whose extraordinary and sustained accomplishments to any field of human endeavor have brought honor and prestige to themselves and to CMU.

Alumni Achievement Award

Awarded to an alumnus for exceptional accomplishment and leadership in the nominee's professional or vocational field, which brings distinction to themselves and honor to the university. The contribution(s) need not be publicly renowned but should represent important creative effort or accomplishment with societal or educational impact and value.

Alumni Service Award

Presented to an alumnus for volunteer service to the university or any of its alumni organizations. Several dimensions of service are considered, including breadth of service (service in multiple CMU volunteer roles), depth or longevity of service, and impact of volunteer service on the alumni organization and/or the university. Financial contributions are specifically excluded from consideration for this award, although volunteer service soliciting contributions on behalf of the university or service on CMU fundraising committees is applicable.

This award does not consider volunteer service to non-CMU organizations. Similarly, Carnegie Mellon employees or those alumni with business relationships to the university are not eligible on the basis of their employment duties or their business services.

Outstanding Recent Alumni Award

Awarded to an alumnus who received either a graduate or undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University within the last 10 years for exceptional professional or vocational accomplishment and/or volunteer service to the university or any of its alumni organizations.

This award does not consider volunteer service to non-CMU organizations. Similarly, Carnegie Mellon employees or those alumni with business relationships to the university are not eligible on the basis of their employment duties or business services.

Faculty & Staff Impact Award

Recognizes current or recently retired Carnegie Mellon University faculty or staff who have consistently gone above and beyond their roles as administrators and educators and demonstrated extraordinary dedication, enthusiasm, service and steadfast commitment to the students and alumni of Carnegie Mellon University. These faculty and staff members are well-respected models for others at the university in sustaining and enriching the alumni experience. This award honors Edward and Virginia (A'43) Schatz and their decades of exemplary service to CMU.

Student Engagement Award

Recognizes current Carnegie Mellon University students who have significantly enriched the quality of life at the university and fostered alumni engagement and pride in alma mater. 

To be considered, students must be nominated in the academic year in which they are enrolled. Please note that the length of their degree program should be included with their packet for clarification.

Nomination FAQs

We encourage nominators to review the Alumni Awards categories to ensure you’re selecting the best fit for your nominee.

  • Founders Medal for Outstanding Service and Exceptional Achievements
  • Alumni Achievement Award
  • Alumni Service Award
  • Outstanding Recent Alumni Award
  • Faculty & Staff Impact Award
  • Student Engagement Award

One letter of support is required for all nominees, and up to two letters of support can be included. These letters are instrumental in the selection process for providing a complete account of the nominee's accomplishments, contributions and impact.

Nominations are accepted year-round and will be considered based on annual application deadlines.

Nominations remain active for two award selection cycles. If your candidate is not selected, you will have the opportunity to add supplemental and/or updated information to the individual’s nomination packet prior to the next deadline.

Awards are not presented posthumously.

Selected honorees must be present at the CMU Alumni Awards ceremony in order to receive an award.

Eligibility is limited by award type to alumni, students, faculty or staff of Carnegie Mellon University. Current members of the CMU Alumni Association Board are ineligible to be nominated for and/or to receive an Alumni Association Alumni Award while they are active members.

Alumni Award honorees are selected annually by members of the CMU Alumni Association Board (AAB) Awards Committee. Nominees are judged specifically on the impact of the nominee’s professional/vocational work and/or service to the CMU community.