Honorary Recognition

Each year CALS recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to their communities, their chosen career fields, and the citizens of the state and the nation. CALS has three awards: the Honorary Recognition Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award.

The 2019 Honorary Recognition Awards Banquet and Ceremony was held on Thursday, October 17.

2019 Award Recipients

On Oct. 17, the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) presented its Honorary Recognition Award to Tim Boerner and Gerald Weiss; its Distinguished Service Award to David Thomas; and its Distinguished Alumni Award to Barbara Barton, Elzie Higginbottom and Steven Ricke. Find out more about this year’s recipients.

About the Awards

  • The Honorary Recognition Award – Established in 1909, this award was championed by Dean Harry L. Russell and Wisconsin Governor William D. Hoard. This award honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding and inspirational leadership, integrity and unselfish service, making significant contributions in the areas of agriculture, life sciences, natural resources and social science. Over the past 100 years, the college has saluted more than 500 individuals who have given both time and talent to improve the lives of many and enrich society for us all.
  • The Distinguished Service Award – This award was established in 1994 in celebration of the college’s excellent faculty and staff. This award recognizes university faculty and staff members for exceptionally meritorious service to the college and university, to the citizens of Wisconsin, and to people around the nation and the world.
  • The Distinguished Alumni Award – Introduced in 2009, this award recognizes a career of outstanding achievement through extraordinary contributions to one’s chosen field or an exemplary record of public service.


For previous award winners: Award Recipients 1909 – 2018