Graduate Student Leadership Awards

The University provides two awards to graduating graduate and professional student leaders: The President's & Provost's Honor for Developing New Initiatives in Graduate & Professional Student Life and the Dr. Andy Binns Award for Outstanding Service to Graduate and Professional Student Life.

These awards are only given to students upon their graduation from Penn. The awards ceremony is typically held in May each year for both Spring and December graduates. Please read more about the awards and how to nominate students below.

President's & Provost's Honor for Developing New Initiatives in Graduate & Professional Student Life 
Presented to graduate or professional students, upon their graduation from Penn, who have been a catalyst for transformative and lasting new developments that have enhanced graduate and professional student life at Penn. The award is reserved for those who have created something new and institutionalized it.

Dr. Andy Binns Impact Award for Outstanding Service to Graduate and Professional Student Life 
Presented to graduate or professional students, upon their graduation from Penn, who have significantly impacted or extensively contributed to graduate and professional student life at Penn through outstanding service involvement in student life programs, initiatives, or organizations. The award is not just for longstanding leaders; it is reserved for those who made significant positive contributions or improvements to the operations and functions of these programs, initiatives, or organizations to the benefit of graduate and professional student life. 

These awards are designed to recognize contributions specifically to graduate and professional student life across campus, not improvements primarily made to academic life. Schools and departments are the appropriate sources to acknowledge academic achievements and improvements.

How to Nominate

To nominate a graduating student for either award, please fill out this form (link is only active when nominations are being accepted).
Nominations can be made at any time, but please adhere to these deadlines:

  • Nominations for the previous December, or upcoming May and August graduates must be received by March 1.
     
  • Nominations for upcoming December graduates must be received by October 1.

Nomination Guidelines:

  • One well-written nomination is more than sufficient. This is not a popularity contest, so multiple nominations are not necessary.
     
  • Nominations are accepted from students, faculty and staff. Self-nominations are accepted.
     
  • When nominating a student for co-establishing an initiative, you must nominate all of the students involved, even if some are not graduating in this year. The selection committee will not consider nominations for some but not all of the students involved in founding an initiative.

A committee will review self-nominations and nominations made by others to evaluate the fit between the graduate and professional students' service and the mission of the awards. There is no limit to the number of students who can receive these awards; however these are prestigious awards and winners are carefully selected.