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Alumni Awards

The highest honors presented by the AU Alumni Association

The American University Alumni Awards are the highest honors presented by the AU Alumni Association. Selected through a highly competitive process, each recipient has made a lasting impact on society and on AU through outstanding professional, philanthropic, or volunteer accomplishments.

Awards Categories

Global Alumni Leader Award

Recognizes alumni whose substantial impacts on society exemplify AU’s tradition of service and leadership in the context of a global community.

Neil Kerwin Alumni Achievement Award

Renamed in 2016 to commemorate the successes of AU's first alumni president, the Neil Kerwin Alumni Achievement Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves through their professional accomplishments.

Alumni Recognition Award

The Alumni Recognition Award recognizes alumni who inspire the world around them through service to the community or a philanthropic mission.

Alumni Eagle Award

The Alumni Eagle Award recognizes alumni who have rendered outstanding service to the University and/or the Alumni Association.

Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award recognizes recent alumni (those who received their degrees within the last 10 years) who are already making significant contributions to greater society through professional or philanthropic work.


The 2023 Alumni Awards Dinner and Ceremony will be held on May 18. 

  • Recipients must have attained notable achievement or made a lasting contribution in his or her professional, philanthropic, or voluntary endeavors.
  • Recipients must have earned a degree from American University.
  • Recipients are expected to attend the awards ceremony to accept awards, except in extraordinary circumstances.
  • Awards will not be given posthumously.
  • In highly exceptional circumstances, an alumnus/a/i who has already received an award in one category may receive an award in a different category in a subsequent year.
  • The awards committee is not obligated to select a recipient from every category in a given year. 
  • A separate nomination form must be submitted for each nominee.
  • In addition to the nomination form, nominators must submit a 1-3 page statement establishing the candidate's qualifications with clear and concise detail as to why he/she/they should be selected for the award, as well as an additional 1-3 letters of recommendation. Please limit supporting documents (not including the nomination form) to 10 pages.
  • The Awards Committee, comprised of members of the American University Alumni Board, will not conduct independent research on any nominee, and the committee will only consider information when it is part of a submitted nomination.
  • The Awards Committee will not consider nominations consisting solely of a nominee's resume.
  • Incomplete nomination packets will not be considered. 

Nominations are accepted online and will be accepted for the 2023 awards event from November 1 to December 15, 2022.

Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or 202-885-5900 with questions.

History of the Alumni Awards

Explore the history of alumni awards at American University and see a list of past recipients.


Meet the 2022 Alumni Award Winners

The American University Alumni Board will honor five recipients of Alumni Awards in 2022. These alumni are among the most involved and accomplished AU Eagles.



Do you have questions about criteria for alumni awards or the nominations process?