The prime, controlling consideration for the award shall be distinction. Candidates for the award shall have made a distinguished contribution to knowledge and creativity in a relevant field of endeavor, and/or have shown sustained activity of uncommon merit towards improving communities and places as sites for human occupation, commensurate with their level of seniority and years of service. The contributions may be made in a wide range of activities – the following list is not exhaustive:

  • Scholarship: major breakthroughs in knowledge in fields of scholarly work;
  • Professions: distinguished contributions to the professions, including innovative work of distinction;
  • Public Service: outstanding achievement in administration and non-governmental civic activity; and/or
  • Business, Industry, Labor: outstanding, innovative activity in business, industry and labor relations.

Award Criteria

  • Is a graduate of the Department of Geography & GIS, and is within 7-10 years of their highest degree
  • Is not currently a member of the University of Illinois faculty, staff, or Board of Trustees
  • Must be of such stature and accomplishment that students, faculty, and staff of the Urbana- Champaign campus will take pride in and be inspired by their recognition
  • Must be an individual whose contributions to humanity, science, art, or human welfare have helped the citizens of his/her country and/or the global population
  • Must be an individual whose life activities reflect the importance of his/her education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nomination process

  • Nominator(s) can be current and former faculty as well as Alumni
  • Nomination shall include a narrative, not exceeding 2 pages, put together by the nominator(s). The narrative should describe the nominee's qualities, achievements, and work, and how these reflect the award criteria.
  • Nominee's CV/Resume, not exceeding 3 pages that provide supporting details that can be measured against the criteria.


Nominations will be assessed by a committee appointed by the Head of Department for this purpose. The committee will make a recommendation to the Head of Department.

Award Ceremony and Lecture

The award shall be conferred upon the successful candidate during a special ceremony hosted by the Department of Geography & GS on the UIUC campus, to be accompanied by an award lecture given by the awardee.


Nomination Deadline: March 31st of each calendar year