Each year, the Department of Student Life brings our campus together to recognize the achievements and accomplishments of our remarkable student leaders. This celebration awards students, clubs, organizations, and advisors in recognition of their outstanding campus leadership, contributions, and service to our community.

We rely heavily on our campus colleagues (student leaders, staff, faculty, etc.) to let us know about their amazing student leaders. We encourage you to review the types of awards and their descriptions, and submit your nominations via the forms provided below. Nominations for most awards are due March 25, 2024.



The Outstanding Student Leader Awards (i.e. Senior Awards) are among the most prestigious awards presented by the University of Vermont. The students recognized are nominated by fellow members of the campus community—including students, faculty and staff—for their leadership, scholarship and service to the University. These awards are presented at the University Commencement Ceremony each May.

Nominate for Senior Awards Here!

The Mary Jean Simpson Award

Identifies the senior who best exemplifies the qualities of character, leadership, and scholarship. The award is named for Mary Jean Simpson, Dean of Women from 1937 - 1954, who displayed her commitment to students, their education, and the community.

The Kidder Medal

Identifies the senior ranking first in leadership, scholarship, and character. It is named in honor of Fred T. Kidder, an 1880 graduate who received his M.D. degree in 1883 and later served on the University of Vermont Board of Trustees.

The Class of '67 Award

Recognizes a senior student who has satisfied two of the three: (1) active membership in three recognized student activities; (2) University recognition in a varsity athletic sport; and/or (3) election to an office in a recognized student activity. The recipient must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5, be respected by their peers, and be of high moral character.

The Keith M. Miser Leadership Award

Recognizes the student who has been successful in campus leadership endeavors. Keith M. Miser was affiliated with UVM from 1971 until 1988. He began his career here as the Director of Residential Life and was promoted to Dean of Students in 1975. He was what one might call "the student's dean". This award honors Keith's idea of student involvement and recognizes a student who has contributed to the campus through their leadership on campus.

The Elmer Nicholson Achievement Prize

Recognizes a student for whom "emergence" is an overriding characteristic. The Nicholson Achievement Prize recognizes the greatness of the student's total UVM experience and, based on that greatness, there is an expectation that the student will make a major contribution in their field of interest. Elmer Nicholson, Class of 1939, received the Wasson Athletic Prize in his senior year.

Katherine Anne Kelly Award

This award recognizes a graduating senior who best exemplifies Kate’s ability to bravely battle very serious medical challenges while still graduating and engaging in UVM student life with passion, energy, and a smile. This award honors Katherine Anne Kelly, Class of 2000, who passed away in 2014 following a heroic battle with Cystic Fibrosis.



Student Life Awards recognize the outstanding leadership, service, and impact of UVM students. Unlike the Senior Awards, students of all class years are eligible for nomination (with the exception of the Outstanding Achievement Awards, which are reserved for First-Year, Sophomore, and Junior nominees). Awards are presented each year at a formal reception. This year's Student Life Leadership Awards will be held on Wednesday, May 1 at 6PM in the Grand Maple Ballroom.

Nominate for Student Life Awards Here!

Outstanding Achievement Award (First Year, Sophomore & Junior)

This award is presented to a student from each class year (First Year, Sophomore & Junior) who, through their achievements, have made a valuable contribution and lasting impact on the UVM campus and/or surrounding community. Each nominee has demonstrated commitment, responsibility, and enthusiasm in their involvement and is valued and respected by those with whom they work.

Activism & Commitment to Justice Award

This award will be presented to a student who has demonstrated a commitment to justice and/or has been and activist, trying to create positive change for the campus, the Burlington community and/or the world. The individual should have strong leadership, passion, and dedication to a particular issue or collection of issues.

Environmental Citizen Award (Co-sponsored by: UVM Eco-Reps and the Office of Sustainability)

The Environmental Citizen Award recognizes a UVM student who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the environment. Nominations are open to undergraduate students whose behavior set an example and inspire others to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. The award will go to the nominee that shows the most commitment, creativity, and leadership in their efforts to conserve and protect our natural resources. 

Patrick M. Brown Leadership Award

This award is presented to one student who has been involved in a variety of activities but has not necessarily held formal leadership positions. It recognizes a person who rarely receives recognition for their work "behind the scenes." Nominees have demonstrated great dedication and dependability, and have earned the respect of others.

The Spirit of Service Award

Honors a student who has participated in community service with vigor, devotion, and an unshakable positive attitude. This student serves with an inspirational and infectious optimism and leads the way for others through their actions and involvement. 

The Sustained Commitment Award

Recognizes a student who has truly been in it for the long haul. This student is someone who has actively and enduringly devoted time and energy to their program area throughout their tenure at UVM.

Outdoor Leadership Award

The Outdoor Leadership Award is presented to a student who exemplifies superb leadership abilities in the outdoors. This student shows a commitment to not only furthering their own technical skills and abilities in the context of outdoor adventure activities, but also is focused on teaching others these skills. This individual recognizes that the outdoors is an incredible tool to foster connections: connections between people and place; connections between members of a group; and connections in our own thoughts and spirits as we engage in the outdoors. This person is committed to making outdoor adventure accessible, sustainable, and, of course, fun for their fellow students.



Each year, the Student Government Association (SGA) recognizes the leadership and contributions of UVM's student organizations, as well as support and guidance of our outstanding advisors. These honors are presented at the Student Life Leadership Awards reception in the spring.

Nominate for SGA Awards Here!

President's Award for Outstanding Organization

Any student organization (club, team, honorary group, Greek chapter, etc.) is eligible to receive this award. The award is based on the organization's leadership, active members, growth over the past year, programmatic efforts, collaborative efforts with other groups, and contributions the organization has made to UVM and/or the surrounding community.

Outstanding Advisor Award

Any advisor/coach to a student organization may receive this award. The award is given to an advisor who has fulfilled a strong educational role and has helped students learn through their involvement. They demonstrate dedication, availability, and energy in their involvement with their students. They are valued and respected by those students with whom they work and have a strong understanding of the organization's needs and goals. 



The Career Champion Award recognizes one staff and one faculty member annually who have gone above and beyond in encouraging the career exploration, readiness, and success of UVM students. These individuals are not Career Counselors per se, but dedicate a portion of their time to supporting the career development of students, consistently empowering them to seek meaningful work with confidence, courage, and curiosity. This award is presented at the Student Life Leadership Awards reception in the spring. Please note that nominations for this awards are due April 1, 2024.

Nominate for The Career Champion Award Here!



If you have any questions about the nomination or selection process, please feel free to call us in the Department of Student Life at (802) 656-2060.

2024 Timeline

  • February 19, 2024
    Nominations Open
  • March 25, 2024 at 4:30pm
    Award Nominations due for Student Life Awards, Senior Awards, and SGA Awards
  • April 1, 2024
    Award Nominations due for Career Champion Award
  • Mid April
    Award Nominees Notified
  • May 1, 2024 at 6PM
    Student Life Leadership Awards
  • May 19, 2024
    Senior Awards presented at UVM Commencement Ceremony


To submit a nomination, please follow the links below.  We will be accepting nominations through March 25, 2024.*

Senior Awards

The Mary Jean Simpson Award; The Kidder Medal; The Class of '67 Award; The Keith M. Miser Leadership Award; The Elmer Nicholson Achievement Prize; Katherine Anne Kelly Award.

Student Life Awards

Activist & Commitment to Justice Award; Patrick M. Brown Leadership Award; Think.Care.Act Award; Outstanding Achievement Award; Sustained Commitment in Service Award; Sprit of Service Award; Environmental Citizen Award

SGA Awards

Outstanding Organization & Declan Connolly Outstanding Advisor Award

Career Services Career Champion Award

*Please note that the nomination deadline for this award is April 1, 2024.