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Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award

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Alumni Awards and Recognition



Catherine Holmes
Associate Director
Office of Volunteer Programs



The 9th president of Cornell University, Frank H. T. Rhodes is one of the most beloved and respected administrators in Cornell's history. An international advocate for education and research, he has played a significant role in the development of national science policy under several U.S. presidents. As Cornell's president, he established initiatives that continue to shape the university today, including Asian studies, supercomputing, biotechnology, and nanofabrication. Be inspired! Watch the Library Reunion Lecture – Ezra’s Unreasonable Vision, featuring President Emeritus Frank H. T. Rhodes and Carl A. Kroch University Librarian Anne Kenney.

A Prestigious Honor

The Cornell Alumni Association, with the endorsement of the Board of Trustees’ Committee on Alumni Affairs, established the Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award in the spring of 1994. An eloquent national spokesman for the importance of higher education, President Rhodes inspired alumni of all ages as well as an entire generation of Cornell students to continue their life after Cornell as dedicated Cornellians.

The Frank H. T. Rhodes Exemplary Alumni Service Award honors alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary service to Cornell through long-term volunteer activities within the broad spectrum of Cornell’s various alumni organizations. Such service may be reflected in the leadership roles that the individual has assumed, or through the unique contributions made by the individual as a part of his or her service to Cornell. Consideration is given to the length and depth of the individual’s activities; however, gifts are not among the criteria used to select honorees. University trustees are not eligible for consideration until they are no longer active members of the board. A maximum of six awards may be presented annually.

2017 Award Ceremony

Saturday, October 21, 2017

on campus at the Statler Hotel

Congratulations to the 2017 Recipients!

  • Jeff Berg ’79, MEN ’80, MBA ‘81
  • Laurie Berke-Weiss ‘71
  • Ron Demer ‘59
  • Tom Jones ’69, MRP ‘72
  • Karen Rupert Keating ‘76
  • Alex Boone Vollmer ’62, MS ‘65

See a list of previous recipients.

Nominations for 2018

Honorees are chosen each year from candidates nominated by Cornell alumni. Do you know of someone deserving? Tell us! A special committee reviews nominations and announces honorees each spring. The recipients are then invited to return to campus in the fall to receive their awards at a special celebration in their honor.

To nominate someone, first consider these criteria:

  • Length and breadth of the nominee's activities and leadership
  • Unique or unsung contributions made to Cornell
  • Involvement with Cornell since the nominee's graduation
  • Graduated 35 or more years ago
  • University trustees and members of the selection committee are not eligible until their term ends.

Then, complete the nomination tool when nominations reopen in early February 2018

Gifts to Cornell, professional achievements, and non-Cornell volunteer service are not considered when selecting honorees.