Annual Alumni Awards recognize admirable, diverse achievements

The Alumni Awards ceremony, organized by the Alumni Association every year, honors and celebrates alumni, faculty, and students for their contributions to Carnegie Mellon on Friday in Rangos Hall (See map 13 on A8). The ceremony is free and open to the public, and it will be followed by a reception in the Great Hall of the College of Fine Arts building (See map 14 on A8).

Beginning in 1950, the Alumni Awards have recognized over 750 alumni, students, faculty, and distinguished individuals within several categories of service and dedication to the university.

The highest award given this year is the Alumni Distinguished Achievement award. This particular award honors those alumni who have outstanding accomplishments and contributions in any field or profession. For the 2011 Alumni Awards Ceremony, Dale Clevenger (A ’62) and Hillard M. Lazarus (E ’70) will be honored with the Alumni Distinguished Achievement award. Past winners of this award include Naoko Matsubara (A ’62) in 2010, Ray H. Baughman Jr. (S ’64) in 2007, and William Purcell (E ’44, ’49) in 2002.

Specific awards are also presented to students and faculty. The Faculty Service Award is given to professors for their commitment to the support and education of Carnegie Mellon students, and the Student Service Award is given to current Carnegie Mellon students for outstanding service to the university, the student body, and the community.

The last winner of the Faculty Service Award was Amy Burkert, the vice provost for education, in 2010.

One of the rarest awards in the program is the Alumni Association Inspiration award. The association only presents it to those alumni who exemplify the characteristics it views view as most representative of Carnegie Mellon — creativity in problem-solving, interdisciplinary collaboration, and generosity of spirit in inspiring and mentoring others. For example, this award was presented to Randy Pausch (S ’88) in 2007.

The Alumni Awards program has been a long-standing tradition for Carnegie Mellon. According to the Alumni Association’s website, “Among our greatest assets are the alumni, friends and students who continue to make possible this university’s vigorous pursuit of excellence.”

The awards program was created to strengthen alumni relations as well as recognize exceptional dedication to the university.