Nominations are considered by the Awards Committee. Award nominations are made between July 1 and June 30 of any year. 

Once the Awards Committee determines recipients for each award category, that slate is ratified by the Alumni Leadership Council. Once the Alumni Leadership Council has approved an award recipient, that person and the person(s) who submitted the nomination are notified by the Alumni Office, usually by the end of the calendar year.

The Alumni Medal is presented at Commencement, while other awards are presented during Commencement/Reunion Weekend. 

A nomination may remain active, and be reconsidered each year, for up to three years. For information about each award’s criteria, please click on the award’s name below.

A candidate for recipient of the Alumni Medal:

  • must have given outstanding, sustained or unique service to Oberlin College;
  • may or may not be an Oberlin alumnus/a;
  • may or may not have been employed by Oberlin College (for someone who has been an employee, the medal recognizes service above and beyond their professional duties);
  • must not be a current Oberlin College employee, honorary degree recipient, Board of Trustees member, Alumni Council’s Executive Board or Awards Committee member, but may be one who is retiring;
  • must be able to come to campus during the Commencement/Reunion Weekend at which time the Alumni Association president will present the award during the commencement ceremony.

Normally one medal is presented in a year. A second medal may also be awarded posthumously. The committee will solicit written nominations from alumni, with supporting information to include significant activities in service to Oberlin College, and observations about significance or impact of these services.

A candidate for recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award:

  • must have demonstrated in their life success that reflects Oberlin’s values in careers, volunteer activities, and in life generally;
  • must be an Oberlin alumnus/a;
  • may or may not have been employed by Oberlin College (for someone who has been an employee, the award recognizes activities above and beyond their professional duties);
  • must not be a current Oberlin College employee, honorary degree recipient, Board of Trustees member, Alumni Council’s Executive Board or Awards Committee member, but may be one who is retiring;
  • must be able to come to campus during the academic year and participate in on-campus activities at which time the award will be presented.

Normally one award is presented in a year with both college and conservatory alumni considered. The committee will solicit written nominations from alumni, with supporting information to include significant activities that exemplify Oberlin values, and observations about significance or impact of these activities on society.

A candidate for recipient of the Distinguished Service Award:

  • must have demonstrated in their life service or volunteer activities that reflect Oberlin’s values by directly improving the quality of life for humanity;
  • must be an Oberlin alumnus/a;
  • may or may not have been employed by Oberlin College (for someone who has been an employee, the award recognizes activities above and beyond their professional duties);
  • must not be a current Oberlin College employee, honorary degree recipient, Board of Trustees member, Alumni Council’s Executive Board or Awards Committee member, but may be one who is retiring;
  • must be able to come to campus during the Alumni Council Weekend at which time the Alumni Association president will present the award during the opening dinner or other session of the Alumni Council.

Normally one award is presented in a year (to either an individual or group). The committee will solicit written nominations from alumni, with supporting information to include significant activities in service to the Oberlin College Alumni Association, and observations about the significance or impact of these services.

A candidate for recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award:

  • must be 35 years of age or younger at the time of consideration by the Awards Committee and have distinguished themselves in one or more of the following areas: professional career, service to humanity, and service to Oberlin College;
  • must be an Oberlin alumnus/a;
  • may or may not have been employed by Oberlin College (for someone who has been an employee, the award recognizes activities above and beyond their professional duties);
  • must not be a current Oberlin College employee, honorary degree recipient, Board of Trustees member, Alumni Council’s Executive Board or Awards Committee member, but may be one who is retiring;
  • must be able to come to campus during the academic year and participate in on-campus activities at which time the award will be presented.

A candidate for recipient of the Alumni Appreciation Award:

  • must have performed a unique service or made a unique contribution to the Oberlin College Alumni Association; or
  • must have performed a unique service or made a unique contribution to Oberlin College; or
  • must have performed a unique service or made a unique contribution that exemplifies Oberlin values;
  • must be able to come to campus during the Alumni Council Weekend at which time the Alumni Association president will present the award during the opening dinner or other session of the Alumni Council.

One or more awards may be presented in a year to either an individual or group.

Phase Window
Nominations July 1–June 30
Consideration June through October
Approval October or November
Notification By end of calendar year