Huskie Leadership Awards

Kevin D. Knight was a NIU alumnus who embodied what it means to be a student leader. He was an exemplary leader, serving NIU as a catalyst for positive change and as a role model for up-and-coming student leaders to follow. Kevin used his time at NIU well, dedicating himself to the betterment of campus life for all students. He worked hard in various leadership positions while receiving numerous awards and recognition for his work. It is in the hearts of the students who knew him that his memory and his efforts carry on.


For scholarship opportunities that are not associated with the Kevin D. Knight Leadership Awards, please visit the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.

Application Process

  1. Read individual award instructions below.
  2. Complete the application

Awards Application

NIU Career Services seeks nominations of undergraduate students for the Applauding Excellence in Student Career Success Award. Nominators will be asked to describe the student's application of classroom learning to the world outside of the classroom, advancement of student career success, advancement of career development and more.

The Freshman Leadership Award recognizes first-year students who have taken the initiative to get involved at NIU, even while they are adjusting to their new surroundings. These students have shown their potential as leaders and their potential for future contributions to campus life at NIU.

The Graduate Leadership Award recognizes graduate students who are involved on campus despite graduate level coursework, professional commitments, and/or family responsibilities. The award recipients have exceeded in demonstrating their involvement and balance between work, school and life.

Institutional tuition waivers are awarded to particularly accomplished and promising students. These awards are intended to assist these talented and special students in their ability to attend college. Applicants are judged on their contributions to the quality of campus life, the variety and scope of their involvement on campus, their potential for future involvement, and their academic achievement.

The Junior Leadership Award is given to students who have significantly enhanced NIU's campus environment through their demonstrated leadership abilities, personal growth, and community service. These students, who are more established in their college careers, have taken on the challenge of holding leadership positions in organizations.

The NIU Women's Club Volunteerism Award will be given to an undergraduate female student who has volunteered her time and talents to worthy causes of her own choosing. This annual award, which includes a modest honorarium, was established and first presented in 1988 by the members of the University Women's Club who wanted to show support in a special way to an outstanding female student who has learned the intangible rewards of volunteer service.

This award recognizes the dedication of a faculty or staff member who volunteers time as an advisor to student organizations. The selected individual demonstrates a high level of commitment to the organization they advise, and they play a central role in assisting our student leaders to reach their highest potential.

The Outstanding Student Organization Award recognizes the contributions of student organizations. Organizations are evaluated on their ability to work as a team, their creativity and initiative, their ability to accomplish tasks, the range of their programming, and their overall service to both the campus and the community.

The Senior Leadership Award recognizes the involvement and accomplishments of our outstanding senior leaders. As seniors, they have not only demonstrated their commitment to enhancing the quality of life on NIU's campus, but have also shown outstanding potential for future achievement as they prepare to enter a new phase in their lives.

The Sophomore Leadership Award recognizes students who have had outstanding involvement in campus life. Through their involvement, these students have contributed to the quality of life on NIU's campus. In addition, they have begun to take on positions of leadership within their organizations and have also shown potential for future achievement.

The Steven R. Agee II Award is awarded to a student who has demonstrated outstanding participation and leadership in student organizations, committees, and/or task forces, thereby significantly enhancing the quality of campus life.

You must be able to articulate activities you have been involved in, community service experience, and your plans for future involvement. You are evaluated on your contributions to the quality of campus life, the variety and scope of your involvement on campus, your potential for future involvement, and your academic achievement.

Awards Ceremony

Each year we recognize students who are purposeful about finding opportunities to clarify their values, set an example for others, envision the future, take risks, foster collaboration, and recognize the contributions made by their peers. The Kevin D. Knight Leadership awards and awards ceremony honor one of NIU's great student leaders. Let us remember Kevin by carrying the torch of exemplary leadership and working for a better NIU and DeKalb community.

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