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University Awards

Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2015, American University introduced the Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award as part of its annual Staff Performance Awards Program. The award’s namesake served AU for 45 years and is recognized for her exemplary service and dedication to the advancement of the university. This award serves as both a legacy of her achievements and as an inspiration to others who work diligently behind the scenes to make the university thrive.

The Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to long-serving staff members who dedicate the vast majority of their professional career to providing exemplary support or service to the AU community and make it a better institution. Awardees will be individuals who are not in a senior staff position, but who provide, or have provided, direct support or service in an administrative, front line, or service position.

Often these vital individuals, while praised for their performance, are in positions that afford little official recognition or visibility, yet are dedicated, loyal, conscientious, and trustworthy over the span of many years and whose contributions have exceeded their formal title and stated duties.

The Maria Bueno Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented at the AU Annual Staff Awards Program only when a candidate merits such distinction. Therefore, this award may not be bestowed annually.


The individual currently is in an administrative support, front line, or service position (non-senior staff) and has been in similar staff positions for 25 or more years at AU.

  • Provided outstanding service to his/her supervisors and the broader AU community for many years.

A letter of nomination is required from a member of the university community and at least two additional supporting letters, one from a current or former supervisor. The nomination and supporting letters must attest to the quality of the awardee’s performance over many years and provide examples of how the awardee has exceeded the expectations of his/her specific job duties.