Honors and Awards
The Office of the Provost administers the granting of University awards and honorary degrees. We invite all members of the University community to nominate deserving individuals for these distinctions.
Achievement & Service Awards
The Eastman Medal recognizes individuals whose achievements and service embody the University's highest ideals. The Medal is named for George Eastman, the University's major benefactor and one of the nation's great champions of higher education. The Provost and President select one or more recipients of this award annually from nominations put forward by the University community.
Frederick Douglass Medal
The Frederick Douglass Medal is awarded by the University and its Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies to distinguished individuals whose scholarship and civic engagement honor the Douglass legacy.
Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Awarded for teaching excellence in schools with undergraduate programs, the E.P. Curtis Award recognizes a record of distinguished teaching, typically developed over at least eight years, as well as a demonstrated readiness to help less experienced faculty colleagues or teaching assistants master their craft. The faculty recipient is honored with a citation at commencement and receives a monetary award.
- Past recipients
- Questions about the Curtis Award for Undergraduate Teaching should be directed to Jason Adsit
Edward Peck Curtis Awards for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student
Established to encourage excellence in the work of graduate students who assist undergraduate instruction, the E.P Curtis Award for Graduate Students is awarded to up to five nominees per year. Any full-time graduate student with a role in undergraduate education is eligible. Nominees are expected to have had significant face-to-face interaction with undergraduate students in the classroom or laboratory. Awards are determined by the Vice Provost & University Dean of Graduate Studies, based on nominations from individual departments or undergraduate student groups.
- Questions about the Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student should be sent to Pat McLane
G. Graydon Curtis ’58 and Jane W. Curtis Award for Nontenured Faculty Teaching
Established in honor of Professor Ralph Helmkamp '11, Professor of Chemistry, this award recognizes teaching excellence by a non-tenured member of the faculty. To quote the donor: “Recognizing that many tenured faculty members excel in both teaching and research, it is my expectation that this annual award, directed exclusively to the non-tenured faculty, will encourage both interest and excellence in instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels.” The award is intended for faculty on the tenure track who have not yet been tenured. The faculty recipient is honored with a citation at commencement and receives a monetary award.
- Past recipients
- Questions about the G. Graydon and Jane W. Curtis Award should be directed to Jason Adsit
Sponsored by alumnus, trustee, and former board chairman Robert B. Goergen and his wife, Pamela, the Goergen Award recognizes the distinctive teaching accomplishments and skills of faculty in Arts, Sciences and Engineering. The Award acknowledges the full scope of work contributing to excellence in undergraduate education, and can be given for distinguished teaching in large introductory courses or advanced seminars. In addition to acknowledging superior classroom performance, it can recognize innovation in course design or teaching methods, the creative use of educational technology, the integration of research and teaching, the capacity to elicit superior work from students, or the mentoring of students in independent study projects and senior essays. The College invites nominations from all sectors of the College: undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff members, and administrators. Three recipients are honored each October at the Goergen Awards Luncheon and receive an award of $15,000 each.
Lifetime Achievement in Graduate Education Award
his award commemorates the distinguished careers of University of Rochester faculty members who have provided outstanding guidance and mentorship to doctoral students at the University, and whose students have in turn gone on to make important contributions in scholarship, business, or government. The award is presented at the University doctoral commencement ceremony.
- Past recipients
- Questions about the Lifetime Achievement Award in Graduate Education should be directed to Pat McLane
William H. Riker University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching
The Riker Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching recognizes a faculty member who has excelled in graduate instruction, particularly in the University's doctoral programs. Presented at the Doctoral Commencement Ceremony each May, this award also carries a monetary award.
- Past recipients
- Questions about the Riker Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching should be directed to Pat McLane
The Charles Force Hutchison and Marjorie Smith Hutchison Medal is awarded to University of Rochester alumni in recognition of their outstanding achievement and notable service to the community, state, or nation. The President selects one or more recipients of this award annually from nominations put forward by the University community.
Rochester Distinguished Scholar
The Distinguished Scholar award recognizes doctoral alumni who have led distinguished careers in academia, private enterprise, public service and the arts. The Provost selects one or more recipients of this award annually from nominations put forward by the University community. It is presented at the University doctoral commencement ceremony.
Honorary degrees are granted to individuals from outside the University community who have achieved great distinction in academics, private enterprise, public service, government, or the arts. Degree nominations may be submitted from throughout the University community, and are reviewed by the Faculty Committee on Honorary Degrees, the President, and the Board of Trustees. Honorary degrees are typically awarded during University ceremonies, such as Commencement or a dean's investiture, or at a special concert at the Eastman Theatre.
Honorary degrees by year: