Awards & Nominations

About the Penn GSE Education Alumni Awards

Each year, Penn GSE recognizes the extraordinary impact of our community at the Celebration of Educators during Alumni Weekend on campus. At this celebration, the Education Alumni Association (EAA) recognizes the annual recipients of the Education Alumni Awards, a distinction that honors outstanding contributions to Penn GSE and the field of education made by members of our community.

We invite you to nominate an alumnus/a or friend of Penn GSE for this distinction through the Penn GSE Education Alumni Award Nomination Form.  

Penn GSE Educator of the Year Award

This award recognizes an outstanding graduate or friend of the University of Pennsylvania, preferably of the Graduate School of Education, who demonstrates unusual involvement in and commitment to identifying and helping to resolve school problems and current issues in education. The recipient of this award must be a dedicated educator who is an inspiration, risk-taker, innovator, and role model and who demonstrates a commitment to the betterment of Penn GSE.

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Helen C. Bailey Award

This award recognizes an outstanding graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education who has brought recognition and status to Penn GSE and the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient of this award must have made a distinctive contribution to the field of education and to Penn GSE, including but not limited to contributions made through research, exceptional professional involvement, or publications. 

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William B. Castetter Alumni Award of Merit

This award recognizes an outstanding graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education for significant service to Penn GSE. Service to the school may include serving as volunteer alumni leader with Penn GSE, the Penn Alumni Board, Penn Regional Clubs, or other leadership opportunities with the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient should have a longstanding relationship with the School and exemplify volunteer leadership.

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Ethel and Allen “Buddy” Carruth Sustained Leadership in Education Award

Established in 2004, this award recognizes significant service to the education community by an esteemed graduate or friend of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. The award honors the memory of Ethel Carruth, ED’43, a distinguished alumna, benefactor, and friend of Penn GSE. Mrs. Carruth and her late husband, Allen Carruth, left an extraordinary legacy, fostering enthusiastic dedication and support of numerous causes, inspiring benevolence and a lifetime of involvement. Their support of education impacted many in the field and motivated unprecedented achievement and guidance throughout the community. The recipient of this award will serve as an inspiration to others, transcending expectations and providing opportunities in service. 

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The Penn GSE Recent Alumni/Early Career Award of Merit

This award recognizes an outstanding graduate who has shown outstanding service to the University of Pennsylvania and Graduate School of Education prior to their 10th reunion year and is setting an inspirational example for future alumni of Penn GSE. This includes but is not limited to significant contributions by an individual in their field of endeavor, whether through professional achievement or community service, and the devotion of significant time, energy, and enthusiasm to volunteerism and cultivation. 

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Other Awards

The National Award of Distinction from Penn GSE

This award recognizes a person of national or international reputation who is making an outstanding contribution in the field of education.

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The Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Distinguished Alumni Award

The Penn GSE Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Management prepares an emerging generation of top higher education leaders who demonstrate effective leadership, manage resources strategically, apply evidence-based decision-making, create entrepreneurial opportunities, challenge practices critically, and enhance the dynamics of complex organizations, while respecting institutional culture and the central role of faculty in higher education. This award annually recognizes an alumna/us of the program who has demonstrated significant and effective leadership and management and has had a substantial impact or influence at an organizational, regional, or national level. Award recipients exhibit exceptional competencies and have a demonstrated record of significant positive outcomes in one or more of the areas noted above. For more information including the nomination and selection process, please contact Matt Jernigan at mjern@upenn.edu.

University of Pennsylvania Alumni Award of Merit Gala

The Alumni Award of Merit Gala is an annual event that highlights and honors outstanding efforts by alumni volunteers across the globe. Learn more.