For the past 33 years, the Sam Houston State University Alumni Association has recognized graduates who have stood out among the others through personal and professional achievements and who have made significant contributions to society through its Distinguished Alumni Award.
This year, for the first time, the association will recognize the accomplishments achieved by one graduate who is early in his or her career and has stood out in the same fashion through the creation of a Distinguished Young Alumni Award.
The DYA was created to specifically single out an alum aged 35 or younger under the same criteria as the Distinguished Alumni Award, according to assistant director of alumni relations Emily deMilliano.
“We have so many successful graduates at all ages and stages of their careers,” deMilliano said. “This award will help enhance our already quality Distinguished Alumni program.”
Association board president George Miles said the idea is not innovative in the respect that many other universities have similar programs but that the board felt it would be a positive way to reach out to more recent graduates.
“We’re in the process of laying the foundation of doing a better job in reaching out to not only our students on campus but to our young graduates and bringing them into the fold and making them feel like a part of the group,” Miles said.
“We’re excited about some of the movement that we’ve made towards recognizing successes of our young graduates and encouraging their participation in the Alumni Association,” he said.
Unlike the DA, the DYA will be limited to one recipient per year, and that person will be honored at the annual Distinguished Alumni Award banquet held on the Friday night during homecoming weekend.
“The banquet is a very, very nice function,” Miles said.
Miles said that while anyone can be selected as for the Distinguished Alumni Award regardless of age, the person selected for the DYA will not be eligible for the DA during the same year; however, it is possible for the DYA recipient to receive the DA later on in his or her career.
The association is currently accepting nominations for both the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.
Nomination forms have been sent out to Alumni Association members, but anyone can nominate, deMilliano said.
Nominees should be SHSU alumni who have achieved a “remarkable degree of prominence, through professional achievements or service to the community or SHSU” and must be able to attend the gala, which will be held on Oct. 13, 2006, according to the nomination form.
Forms for the DA can be found under the link, http://alumni.shsu.edu/ and for the DYA at http://alumni.shsu.edu/documents/YoungAlumniForm.pdf.
Nominations which should include supporting documentation, a biographical sketch and a resume not more than two pages single-spaced are due by 5 p.m. on March 24 to the SHSU Alumni Association, Box 2022, Huntsville, Texas 77341-2022.
For more information, call (936) 294.1941.