Alumni Association Awards



To commemorate the founding of the University of Utah in 1850, the Alumni Association each year recognizes alumni and honorary alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally, served the local and national communities, and supported the University in its mission. The annual distinguished and honorary alumni awards, along with honorary degrees, are the highest honor awarded by the University of Utah.

Meet our 2016 Founders Day recipients here.

Distinguished Alumni
   Deneece G. Huftalin
   Patricia W. Jones
   Fred P. Lewis
   Harris H. Simmons

Honorary Alumnus
   Marion A. Willey

List of past Founders Day Award recipients.

Distinguished Alumnus/a Award
This honor is presented to four to five alumni who carry the University of Utah tradition of excellence through extraordinary achievement and exceptional service.

Honorary Alumnus/a Award
This honor is given to an individual who either did not attend the University of Utah or who went to the University for a brief time (a year or less) and who has contributed significantly to the advancement of the University through personal involvement, including donations, volunteer work or other forms of support.


Since 1971, more than 500 former University of Utah students have
received the prestigious Merit of Honor Award from the Emeritus Alumni Board of the University of Utah Alumni Association. This recognition is for students who attended the University 40 or more years ago (or who are age 65 or better) and who have given distinguished service to their profession, the University and/or the nation. The Alumni Association honors the Merit of Honor awardees each year at the Merit of Honor Banquet.

2015 Merit of Honor Recipients
  Andrew B. Christensen BS'62
  Mary Kay Griffin BA'70
  Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey BFA'56 MFA'56
  Kathie Kercher Horman BA'65
  J. Spencer Kinard BS'66

Click here for more information about the 2015 Merit of Honor Banquet.


Meet our 2014 Merit of Honor recipients here

   Jeffrey L. Anderson BA'68
   Ronald G. Coleman BS'66
   Ron Henriksen BA'71
   Betsy Ross Young Newton BS'46
   John C. Pingree BS'64
   Heidi Sorensen Swinton BA'71

List of past Merit of Honor recipients


Each spring, the Alumni Association recognizes an outstanding young alumnus, an exceptional student adviser, our Lowell Bennion service fellows, and the deserving recipients of many of our more than $550,000 in scholarships. 

Par Excellence Award
The Young Alumni Board (YAB) honors an alumnus/a who attended the University of Utah within the last 15 years with our Par Excellence Award. The award is presented on the basis of the recipient’s outstanding professional achievements and contribution to the betterment of society.

2016 Par Excellence Award Winner
Matthew Sanderson BA'05

Member, Caplin & Drysdale

List of past Par Excellence recipients

Nomination form for the 2017 Par Excellence Award available soon

Philip and Miriam Perlman Award
The Alumni Association also recognizes a faculty or staff member with the Philip and Miriam Perlman Excellence in Student Counseling Award for his/her dedication to students in helping them steer a successful course through their studies at the University.

2016 Perlman Award Winner
Stephen C. Alder PhD'02
Professor, Medicine and Health


Nomination form for the 2017 Perlman Award available soon

List of past Perlman recipients

In addition, Alumni scholars, Emeritus scholars, Young Alumni scholars and Bennion Fellows are recognized at the banquet.

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