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Commencement

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graduate awards

Graduate Awards

A variety of graduate awards are presented during the annual Awards Convocation to recognize outstanding achievement. While some awards are school-specific, others are open to eligible graduates throughout the College. Many of the awards require that you meet one or more criteria to be considered, and awardees are drawn from a pool of eligible individuals. Others allow you to nominate yourself.

Commencement Awards

All Graduates

Student Support Award

This award is presented to a person (or persons) whose assistance and encouragement played a significant role in helping a graduate earn an Excelsior College degree.

Charles W. Laffin Jr. Memorial Award

In recognition of Charles W. Laffin Jr., whose vision and leadership gave momentum to a fledgling community college movement and left a legacy of opportunity to millions of adult learners, and in gratitude for his invaluable service to Excelsior College, the faculty of the College presents this award for academic excellence and outstanding achievement.

Ewald B. Nyquist Memorial Award

In recognition of the leadership of Ewald B. Nyquist, founder of the College, who was determined to extend the quality of educational opportunity from kindergarten through college to learners everywhere, the Trustees of Excelsior College present this award for academic excellence and outstanding achievement in earning a degree through independent study.

LeRoy V. Good Memorial Award

In recognition of LeRoy V. Good's vigorous efforts on behalf of community colleges throughout the country and of his distinguished tenures as the founding president of four such institutions, and in gratitude for his commitment and service to the College, the faculty of Excelsior College presents this award for academic excellence and outstanding achievement in earning an associate degree through independent study.

Robert Kinsinger Memorial Award

This self-nominated award recognizes the leadership and vision of founding trustee Dr. Robert E. Kinsinger. As the first chair of the College's Board of Overseers, Dr. Kinsinger built upon his earlier relationship with the College as a vice president of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. While at the Foundation, Dr. Kinsinger encouraged and supported the development of the Regents College nursing degree programs, an interest that he carried forward into his work as an overseer and later as a trustee. The award is presented to a student who demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and who is involved with the nonprofit sector as either an employee or volunteer.

School of Business & Technology

Dr. Robert L. Long Award for Academic Excellence in Nuclear Engineering Technology

The Dr. Robert L. Long award of Academic Excellence in Nuclear Engineering Technology (aka, the Bob Long Award) was created in recognition of Dr. Long's service and contribution to Excelsior College. He was regarded as an expert in nuclear education and a proponent of the link between treating and education and the safe operation of nuclear facilities. Students selected for this award must work in the Nuclear Power industry, be a member of the America Nuclear Society, and are nominated by faculty in the Nuclear Engineering Program. 

Jean M. Smith Award (Business)

This award recognizes the leadership and vision of Founding Trustee Jean M. Smith. Ms. Smith's career in banking has been characterized by a deep commitment to institutions that are devoted to improving society. Her passion for social justice shaped her work with the college, first as an overseer and later as a trustee, as she worked to support students. The award is presented to a student who demonstrated outstanding academic and professional achievement in the world of business.

Marvin Curling Memorial Award (Technology)

This award is given in memory and recognition of the vision and contribution of Marvin Curling to the development of collaboration between industry and education through the integration of corporate-sponsored training and college-level learning. A New York Power Authority (NYPA) training superintendent, Mr. Curling motivated employees at NYPA to persist in educational advancement. He helped establish degrees in technology at Excelsior (then Regents) College. In honor of the superior model of collaboration which he helped established, the New York Power Authority contributed the endowment to maintain this annual award which is presented to a graduate who achieved outstanding academic achievement while pursuing a degree in a nuclear technology program.

School of Health Sciences

Michael J. Cooley Memorial Award

The Michael J. Cooley Memorial Award is presented to a health science student in memory and recognition of the contributions of Michael Cooley to the School of Health Sciences, as a beloved and dedicated adjunct faculty member. The recipient of the award is a graduate of the School of Health Sciences who embodies exemplary academic achievement and exceptional perseverance. This graduate accepts the challenges that befall an adult learner and embraces the opportunity to grow academically, professionally and personally within the health sciences discipline.

School of Liberal Arts

Joshua L. Smith Award

This award recognizes the leadership and vision of founding trustee Joshua L. Smith. During his three years as chair of the Excelsior College Board of Trustees, he encouraged the College to expand graduate degree programs. Smith, a retired professor and director of the Program in Higher Education and Center for Urban Community College Leadership, New York University, School of Education, dedicated his career to education. Thus, this award is presented to a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies graduate who demonstrated outstanding achievement and has a career focused on education.

Robert P. Mahoney Award

In recognition of Dr. Mahoney's outstanding contributions to liberal arts education at this College and his devotion to serving his community, this award is presented to a liberal arts graduate who completed a degree in the face of significant challenges and demonstrated a dedication to community and volunteer service.

School of Nursing

Mildred L. Montag Memorial Award

The Mildred L. Montag Memorial Award is given in recognition of Dr. Montag's national leadership in nursing and nursing education and her distinguished contribution to the development of the nursing programs offered by Excelsior College. The graduate selected to receive this award has completed the Excelsior College Master of Science program in nursing and has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and excellence in all of the nursing courses, including the capstone course.

Ruth V. Matheney Memorial Award

The Ruth V. Matheney Memorial Award is presented in memory and recognition of the distinguished contributions of Ruth V. Matheney to nursing education, her nationally acclaimed leadership toward progressive, patient-centered practices in the classroom and at the bedside, and her wise and willing counsel to the Excelsior College nursing programs. The recipient of this award has completed an undergraduate degree at Excelsior College and has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and excellence on the nursing theory examinations or nursing courses and the nursing capstone requirement.

School of Public Service

Dwayn Hanford Award

This award is presented in recognition of Excelsior College alumnus Dwayn Hanford. As current president of the Excelsior College Alumni Association, a past C. Wayne Williams Award recipient,and adjunct instructor for the School of Public Service, Mr. Hanford is a strong advocate and ally to the school and the mission to educate 21st century public sector leaders and citizens. The recipient of the Dwayn Hanford Award has completed a degree from the School of Public Service with academic excellence and significant community involvement.

Military

Arthur Gregg Award

This award recognizes the leadership and vision of founding trustee Lt. General Arthur J. Gregg (USA Retired). General Gregg chaired the College's Board of Overseers and guided the transition to independence as a private institution, becoming the first chair of the Board of Trustees. With a distinguished career in the U.S. Army, General Gregg has contributed greatly to the College's service to the U.S. military. The award is presented to a student who is on active duty in the U.S. Military and who demonstrates outstanding academic and career or professional achievement. Read more about this award.

Catherine Craig-Erhardt Memorial Award

This award is given in memory of Catherine Craig-Erhardt, a member of the College staff beginning in 1980. From 1984 until her untimely death in 1986, she served as the College's liaison to the military. The award recognizes and commemorates her commitment to helping military servicemembers attain their educational goals and is presented for service to others, commitment to education, and for academic, professional, and personal achievement. Read more about this award.