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Office of Human Resources

Witmer Award

View Past Award Recipients

Watch for the 2020 nomination period to open in December 2019.

Nominations Due: February 6, 2019

Nomination Form


The Witmer Award for Distinguished Service provides University-wide recognition to a select number of staff members for careers characterized by outstanding and sustained contributions to the University.

Areas of Achievement:

Nominees should demonstrate excellence in the following areas:

  • Enhancing the quality of work life in ways that make a significant difference for colleagues or constituents.
  • Providing outstanding and ongoing excellence in services to faculty, staff, students and other constituents.
  • Developing creative solutions to problems that result in significantly more effective and efficient department or University operations.
  • Demonstrating unusual dedication to the University's mission and values.
  • Contributing to the University's positive image in the community.


Nominees must be full- or part-time active staff from any division with a minimum of five years of continuous service at the University. Faculty and students are not eligible for this award. Previous recipients of the Witmer Award are ineligible for nomination.

Contact Melissa Ritzenthaler at (585) 275-9151 or email for questions regarding eligibility.


The recipients will be given a permanent, one-time increase in base salary of $1,500 and the University will waive the cost of their employee parking permits for one year. All Witmer Award recipients will receive a certificate and be honored by the University Board of Trustees. In addition, their names will be inscribed on recognition boards placed in prominent locations at the Medical Center and in Wallis Hall. They will also be featured in University publications and invited to attend a reception in their honor.

Nomination Process:

Nominations may be submitted or supported by current University of Rochester faculty and staff, students, teams, or groups with the exception of members of the Witmer and Meliora Awards Selection Committee.

Award recipients will be selected by the Witmer and Meliora Awards Selection Committee and announced in the spring.

Guidelines for Submitting Witmer Award Nominations:

For each nominee, please submit a nomination package containing the following items by February 6, 2019. Please be sure that ALL information is complete.

  • A nomination form.
  • A nominating statement of no more than three pages (12 point font or larger) must accompany the nomination form explaining how the nominee satisfies the award criteria. Please be specific, providing concrete examples.
  • Exactly three letters of support (each no more than one page in length and 12 point font or larger) from those who have been directly affected by this nominee's work performance and dedication. One of the supporting letters must be from the individual's direct supervisor unless the supervisor is submitting the nomination. Letters need to be specific and detailed to ensure full understanding of the nominee's accomplishments.
  • Relevant supporting documentation may be included but is not required.

Completed nomination packets should be submitted to:

Witmer & Meliora Awards Selection Committee
c/o Associate Vice President for Human Resources / CHRO
E-mail: Witmer Award Nominations (on global)
Intramural Mail: Box 278949
Hand Carry:

  • River Campus: 263 Wallis Hall (HR-AVP / CHRO Office)
  • Medical Center: Room 1-6039 (Medical Center HR Office)
  • Office of Total Rewards: 60 Corporate Woods, Suite 310
  • Brooks Landing: 910 Genesee St, Suite 100 (HR Service Center)