Distinguished Awards

The College of Liberal Arts and Science's distinguished awards are presented to outstanding members of the college community who are celebrated for their prominence in their professional field or through their civic, cultural or charitable service, or who have made major contributions to the college and its reputation for excellence. The awards were established following the college's 50th anniversary in 2009. To date, the college has honored 170 alumni, faculty and staff.

Each year, a wide range of nominations are submitted by students, alumni, staff, faculty and friends of the college. Nomination materials are evaluated by a selection committee comprised of alumni, faculty and staff who are appointed by Dean Brinkmann.

All awardees are invited to the NIU campus, where they receive their awards at an annual celebration held in Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center.

Now accepting 2024 nominations!

Nomination Form

2023 Honoree Class


Raymond L. Banks
M.S. Geology, 1986

Evan R.W. Dutmer
B.A., Philosophy, 2012

Julia Jasken
M.A., English, 1997

Ernesto Morales
B.S., Meteorology, 2000

Martha Ann Terry
B.A., Anthropology, 1983
M.A., Anthropology 1985

Dave Thillen
M.S. Mathematical Sciences, 1968


Carl Albright
Department of Physics

David Ballantine
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Lesley Rigg
Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment

Christine D. Worobec
Department of History


Dana Ditrichs-Kunkel