This award, named for Wilma D. Stricklin, a member of the pathfinder generation of women at the university, who took it as an obligation to make the way easier for those who would follow. Stricklin was the was elected the first chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and was instrumental in the establishment of NIU's Office of University Resources for Women (now the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center).
Each award recipient is given a work of art created by a female member of the School of Art and Design.
- Demonstrated exemplary leadership/service resulting in a more favorable campus climate for women
- Provided continual leadership /service over an extended period of time
- Expended efforts beyond expectations and work responsibilities
- Achieved results and affected lasting change making NIU a better campus for women