Distinguished Alumni Awards

Penn State New Kensington Distinguished Alumni Award



In 2016-2017, Penn State New Kensington, in partnership with the Penn State New Kensington Alumni Society, established the Distinguished Alumni Awards.  The purpose of the Alumni Awards is to recognize alumni for their individual achievements, contributions to their industry or profession, service to the community, and loyalty to Penn State New Kensington. 

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor given by Penn State New Kensington to a graduate. 

Four recipients will be honored at Off the Wall pARTy in June.


Award Guidelines

The Distinguished Alumni Awards acknowledge outstanding alumni who have attained extraordinary distinction and success in their chosen profession and accomplishment in any field of human endeavor that brings honor to the recipient and to Penn State New Kensington.  An individual may only receive this award once. 

To be considered for the award, the individual is:

  • A living Penn State New Kensington alumnus/alumna (the individual must have attended the Penn State New Kensington campus for at least one semester).
  • Distinguished in his or her chosen business, profession or life work, and the recipient of some previous recognition (publications, presentations, awards, honors, research, continued advancement - academically or professionally).
  • Active in professional organizations.
  • A person of such integrity and stature that Penn State New Kensington will take pride in bestowing this recognition.
  • A leader both professionally and within the community and demonstrates a commitment to community relations and philanthropy.
  • Demonstrating the importance of a Penn State New Kensington education and is loyal to the campus by alumni involvement and/or philanthropic support.


Ineligibility for all Distinguished Alumni Awards

  • Current officers of the Penn State New Kensington Alumni Society are not eligible.
  • Current officers of the Penn State New Kensington Advisory Board are not eligible.
  • Current members of the Distinguished Alumni Awards Selection Committee are not eligible..
  • An individual who currently holds an elected public office will not be selected in a year in which he/she might be elected or re-elected.


Method of Nomination

Penn State New Kensington will provide an online nomination form.  For a PDF copy of the nomination form, please contact Tina at [email protected].

  • Any member of the Penn State New Kensington community, as well as administration, faculty, or staff of the campus may make nominations.
  • Any friend, business colleague, or alumna/alumnus may make nominations.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted.
  • No limit is placed on the number of nominations submitted.
  • One nomination per individual will be considered per year.
  • An individual can be nominated for the award regardless of how many times he/she has been nominated in the past.
  • The name of the nominator will not be disclosed.
  • In the event that a candidate is not selected as an honoree, his/her nomination may be updated and resubmitted for future consideration.
  • Nominators must submit a completed nomination form, a letter of recommendation, and supporting documentation as available (see details that follow).
  • Recipients must be able to accept the award in person at Penn State New Kensington.



Nomination for qualified candidates for the Distinguished Alumni Awards should include:

  • Completed Distinguished Alumni Award Nomination form
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Biography and supporting documentation, which includes, but is not limited to, press releases, articles, resumes, video clips, etc.

Nominations must be kept confidential between the nominator and the Distinguished Alumni Awards Selection Committee which is composed of seven individuals representing alumni, administration, faculty, and staff.  No approach will be made to any nominee until the selection process has been completed.  Once the selection process has been completed, the Chancellor of Penn State New Kensington will notify the successful nominee by written letter.  Applications in breach of the above guidelines will not be considered.  The nomination deadline is November 1.


Presentation of Awards

The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to four individuals every three years at the art gala in June.  The Chancellor of Penn State New Kensington will present the awards.  Each awardee will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is in the form of an engraved plaque, and will be featured on the Distinguished Alumni Recognition Wall, which is located in the Administration Building, with a 1 ft. x 3 ft. panel highlighting the alumna/alumnus achievements in a short biography.



  • All nominations are due November 1.
  • At mid-November, the Selection Committee will review all nominations and determine qualified candidates.
  • At the end of November, the Selection Committee will present a slate of four recommended candidates to the Chancellor.
  • By December 15, four qualified nominees will be finalized.
  • In mid-January, the Chancellor of Penn State New Kensington will notify the successful nominees by letter.
  • Following the confirmation of the nominee’s acceptance of the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Director of Development and Alumni Relations will follow up with the nominee to obtain supplemental information (biography, photos, etc.).
  • By February 15, all material that will be used for the Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony will be approved by the nominee (biography for news release and program, biography for Recognition Wall).
  • By March 1, all information will be sent to Recognition Art to begin production of the Distinguished Alumni panels.  Information will be shared with the graphic designer for the spring gala program booklet.
  • Immediately following Commencement in mid-May, the Distinguished Alumni wall panels will be installed on the Recognition Wall.
  • In June, the four Distinguished Alumni will be recognized in person at the art gala.


For additional information, please contact the Office of Development via email at [email protected] or by phone at (724) 334-6057.