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. These are the highest honors awarded by the college and they recognize individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to their communities, their chosen career fields, and the citizens of the state and the nation.

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Honorary Recognition Award, Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award.

As you consider possible nominees, think about those individuals who have demonstrated leadership and been an inspiration to others in agriculture, natural resources, and/or the life sciences and uphold CALS’ values and mission in their work. CALS is committed to providing inclusive, equitable and accessible opportunities and environments to students, stakeholders, partners, staff and faculty from all backgrounds. We encourage nominations for potential candidates of all races, class, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality, religion, and other group identities; and we encourage nomination applications for candidates who demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

An individual may be considered for only one award during a given year, so nominators should select the most appropriate award for their candidate. Please note that nominations remain valid for three years and that once an individual has received an award, that person may not be nominated again, for any award, for three years.

The 2024 Honorary Recognition Awards Banquet and Ceremony was held on Thursday, October 10 in Union South.

Information for each award and nomination forms can be found below. Nominations are due April 15, 2024.

About the Awards

Honorary Recognition Award

Recognizes individuals whose personal contributions, achievements, and activities to agriculture, natural resources, life sciences and/or related business have supported the state of Wisconsin and the mission of CALS. Award recipients should exemplify outstanding and inspirational leadership, integrity and unselfish service and go above and beyond their job duties in support of the Wisconsin Idea.

Preview Nomination Criteriaexpand_more

  • Nominee’s name (former name if applicable)
  • Nominee’s mailing address
  • Nominee’s email address
  • Nominee’s UW degree and year (if applicable)
  • Nominee’s degrees from other colleges/universities (if applicable)
  • Nominee’s occupation and title
  • Describe the nominee’s personal contributions to agriculture, natural resources, life sciences and/or related business and how their achievements and activities supported the state of Wisconsin and the mission of CALS (up to 500 words).
  • Describe how the nominee exemplifies outstanding and inspirational leadership, integrity and unselfish service and goes above and beyond his/her job duties in support of the Wisconsin Idea (up to 500 words).
  • Letters of support can help round out a nomination (but are not required). Up to two letters of support are permitted. Letters may be co-signed by supporters. 

Distinguished Alumni Award

Recognizes CALS graduates with careers of outstanding achievement through extraordinary contributions to their chosen field or an exemplary record of public service. Award recipients should have a record of demonstrated loyalty (e.g. participating in events, donating to UW, and/or advocating on behalf of UW) to CALS and the University of Wisconsin.

Preview Nomination Criteriaexpand_more

  • Nominee name’s (former name if applicable)
  • Nominee’s mailing address
  • Nominee’s email address
  • Nominee’s UW degree and year
  • Nominee’s degrees from other colleges/universities (if applicable)
  • Nominee’s occupation and title
  • Describe the nominee’s outstanding achievements with specific respect to 1.) extraordinary contributions to the nominee’s chosen field OR 2.) an exemplary record of public service (up to 500 words).
  • Describe how the nominee has demonstrated loyalty (e.g. participates in events, donates to UW, and/or advocates on behalf of UW) to CALS and the University of Wisconsin (up to 500 words).
  • Letters of support can help round out a nomination (but are not required). Up to two letters of support are permitted. Letters may be co-signed by supporters. 

Distinguished Service Award

Recognizes university faculty and staff members for contributions to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and their professional achievements and activities in research, teaching, service and/or extension. Award recipients should have a record of personal contributions and service to the college that went above and beyond their regular job duties and supported the mission of CALS and the Wisconsin Idea.

Preview Nomination Criteriaexpand_more

  • Nominee’s name (former name if applicable)
  • Nominee’s mailing address
  • Nominee’s email address
  • Nominee’s UW degree and year (if applicable)
  • Nominee’s degrees from other colleges/universities (if applicable)
  • Nominee’s occupation and title
  • Describe the nominee’s contributions to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and their professional achievements and activities in research, teaching, service and/or extension (up to 500 words).
  • Describe how the nominee’s personal contributions and service to the college went above and beyond regular job duties and supported the mission of CALS and the Wisconsin Idea (up to 500 words).
  • Letters of support can help round out a nomination (but are not required). Up to two letters of support are permitted. Letters may be co-signed by supporters. 

History of the Awards

List of past recipients

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.