Alumnus of the year

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Essex graduation ceremony

Recognising excellence

The University of Essex Alumnus of the Year Award has been presented annually since 2002. The award aims to recognise the achievements of former students who have made a substantial contribution to the community, or to the arts or sciences, or to business, sporting, public or academic life, or has, in some way, made a major contribution to the lives of others.

The Alumnus of the Year is distinct from an Honorary Degree in that it aims to make an award to an alumnus who is relatively new to their career, ideally (although not necessarily) having graduated less than ten years ago. Previous winners have been well received at the degree ceremonies, providing inspiration for the graduands being conferred a degree.

Make a nomination

Guidelines for nominations

Nomination criteria

Both staff and alumni are invited to nominate and the recipient is chosen by Honorary Degrees and Honorary Fellowships Committee. The award is presented at the appropriate degree congregation where the Head of Department, or their nominee, makes a short oration and the recipient replies to the congregation.

The nominations are considered by the Honorary Degrees and Honorary Fellowships Committee. Nominations will not be accepted for alumni who have not achieved a degree level qualification. An Alumnus of the Year should not be self-nominated. Nominations should not be discussed with the person you are nominating.

How to nominate

Nominations open in the Autumn Term each year for award at Graduation the following July.

All nominations received ahead of the deadline are considered by the Committee during the spring term. Nominations received at other times are held over until the spring term following their receipt.

The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Friday 1 December 2023.

All nominations should be submitted using the nomination form. The form may only be completed once, amendments and additions are not possible once a submission has been made.

Limited research is conducted into each nominee’s background ahead of consideration by the Committee. Please include any relevant background information about the nominee that may support the nomination.

No public announcement is made until after the names of the successful nominees are agreed by Senate and Council. The outcome of the Committee’s deliberations must remain confidential until the time of the official announcement.

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Alumni Relations