Dr. Janice Spears of Springfield, IL is the 2020 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Spears has earned three degrees from the University, and had a remarkable career as a school administrator, which included national recognition for environmentally friendly school buildings. Upon retirement, Spears has focused her time and energy on the University and has become an invaluable, “go –to” alumni volunteer leader whose actions have made significant, notable impact on the institution’s overall welfare and the advancement of its mission.
Nominate Deserving Alumni Today
Recipients must be nominated for the award. Working from these nominations, the Alumni Association Awards and Recognition Committee will select the recipients. The awards will be presented at Commencement or an Alumni Association event. Please complete this online form to submit a nomination.
Please be advised: Should the committee determine the nominee would be more appropriately honored by means of a different award, the committee reserves the right to consider each nominee for other, more suitable recognition. If you have questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 217.206.6058.
Established in 1972, this honor has been bestowed upon alumni, faculty, staff or friends of the University of Illinois by the University of Illinois. The honor is given to those individuals who have consistently demonstrated extraordinary commitment, dedication and service to the advancement of the University of Illinois.
Nomination is required. Nominees must be living at the time of their nomination. Nominations will be considered active for three years.
Nominee must be an individual or couple who, in deed or action, reflects and recognizes the importance of an education at the University of Illinois; who demonstrates pride in the University of Illinois; and whose extraordinary commitment, dedication and service have significantly advanced the University.
Nominee must be an individual or couple in whom alumni, students, faculty and staff of the University of Illinois will take pride and be inspired by this recognition.
Previous recipients are not eligible for reconsideration.
Current members of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees; the UIAA Board of Directors; the Alumni Association Awards and Recognition Committee; the Campus Alumni Advisory Board; and relatives, employers or employees thereof are not eligible for consideration.
Persons currently holding or running for elected state or federal public office in Illinois are not eligible for consideration.
The award may not be conferred in absentia; however, it may be granted posthumously.
2019 Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Professor emeritus Dr. Larry Golden is the 2019 recipient of the UI Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Golden is a founding faculty member of the University and current Founding Director of the Illinois Innocence Project. His life and career have been dedicated to teaching and activism in the areas of civil rights and liberties, law, inequality, and justice. Golden’s consistent, exceptional and meritorious service to the University has made a significant impact on the institution’s overall welfare and the advancement of its mission.