Alumni association awards

Each Homecoming, the Northern Arizona University Alumni Association bestows awards on alumni who have:

  • distinguished themselves through excellence in their careers
  • performed extraordinary community service and volunteerism
  • embodied and promoted the spirit of the university
Use the links below to make a nomination. Deadline for nominations is May 31, 2017. Winners will be notified prior to the public and will be asked to join us during Homecoming Weekend for the official public announcement. We look forward to reviewing the nominations!

Dwight Patterson Alumnus of the Year

The Dwight Patterson Alumna/Alumnus of the Year award is presented to an alumna or alumnus who has achieved outstanding success in his or her professional career. Preference is given to those who have earned a degree from NAU. 

Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of the Year

The Dr. Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of the Year award is presented to recognize distinguished service to non-profit organizations; governmental assignments at the municipal, county, state, or federal level; or other outstanding citizen service. Preference is given to those who have earned a degree from NAU. 

Jeff Ferris Volunteer of the Year

The Jeff Ferris Volunteer of the Year award is presented to an alumna or alumnus who has demonstrated sustained interest and loyalty to the NAU Alumni Association and/or the University as a whole. Preference is given to those who have earned a degree from NAU.

Joe and Marie Rolle Spirit of NAU Award

The Joe and Marie Rolle Spirit of NAU award is presented to an alumna or alumnus who radiates the spirit of NAU. 

Recent Graduate Award 

The Excellence in Achievement by a Recent Graduate award is presented to recognize a young alumna or alumnus who has achieved outstanding success in his or her professional career in a relatively short amount of time. Nominees must have graduated within the last 10 years. Alumni with either graduate or undergraduate degrees are eligible for this award. 

2016 Alumni Association Award Recipients

Dwight Patterson Alumnus of the Year

Diana Gabaldon, '73 BS, '78 PhD, '07 Honorary Doctorate

Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of the Year

Steve Peru, '79 BS, '90 MPA

Jeff Ferris Volunteer of the Year

No winner this year

Joe and Marie Rolle Spirit of NAU Award

Kimberly Ott, '82 BS

Recent Graduate Award 

Jaimee Elder, '13 BS 

Read more about each of the 2016 Alumni Award winners by clicking on their names.

Past award recipients

2015

Dwight Patterson Alumnus of the Year

Dr. Pieter Dorrestein, '98 BS

Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of the Year

VADM Robin Braun, '77 BS

Jeff Ferris Volunteer of the Year

Joe Cardone, '69 BS

Joe and Marie Rolle Spirit of NAU Award

Hank Peck, '75 BS

Recent Graduate Award 

Blaise Caudill, '13 BS & BA 

Read more about each Alumni Award winner by clicking on their names.

2014

Dwight Patterson Alumna/Alumnus of the Year

Mary Lynn Coleman, '74 BSED & '85 MED

Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of the Year

Timothy Pawlak, '89 BSACC

Jeff Ferris Volunteer of the Year

Warren Sanford, '98 BS, '98 BA & '00 MADM

Joe and Marie Rolle Spirit of NAU Award

In honor of the passing of Marie Rolle, this distinction was not awarded in 2014.

Recent Graduate Award 

Ryan Ewing, '05 BSBA

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