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Honors and Awards

Each year, Drexel Alumni recognizes graduates for outstanding achievements in their profession, in the community and within the University. Drexel Alumni also recognizes outstanding students for demonstrated leadership throughout their time at Drexel.

Drexel Alumni encourages all members of the alumni and university community to participate in the awards process by sharing the achievements of fellow alumni, colleagues and friends with the Board of Governors’ Honors and Awards Committee for nomination.

Alumni awards will be presented each year during Homecoming Weekend in January, with the exception of the Golden and Silver Dragon Society Awards, which will be presented each year during Alumni Weekend in May, and the A.J. Drexel Paul Award, which is presented in the fall.

Nominations for any award may be submitted throughout the year, and will be held for future consideration. If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Villanueva at

Check out the criteria for the awards below and tell us about an outstanding Drexel graduate!


Nominations Process

Nominations for the 2020 alumni awards will be accepted through Friday, October 18, 2019. If you would like to self-nominate, it is also recommended that your submission include at least one letter of support from an outside source, such as a fellow alumnus, colleague (including contacts from your professional network, community organizations that you serve, etc.) and/or faculty member.

The Honors and Awards Committee of the Board of Governors will review and evaluate thoroughly all the nominations received, and will notify selected award recipients. The Committee takes pride in reviewing all of the many personal and professional accomplishments of our alumni. With such a large number of qualified nominations, the selection process can be very competitive.

Nominations will be reviewed in November by the Honors and Awards Committee, and recipients will be notified of their selection in December. If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Villanueva at

Alumni Awards

A.J. Drexel Paul Award for Service to Alma Mater

The A.J. Drexel Paul Award was established in 1961 in memory of Mr. Paul, a descendent of the University's founder, who served on the University's Board of Trustees from 1908 until 1958. The criteria for selection are:

  • Drexel Attendance: Recipient must be an alumnus or alumna and must have attended Drexel for at least two years. The last year of attendance will have been at least five years prior to consideration.
  • Service: Personal achievement reflecting credit on Drexel is the most important requirement. This achievement should be in one of the following: professional attainment reflecting credit on Drexel University, or contributions to community life that reflect on Drexel.
  • Drexel Activities: A continuing interest and active participation in Drexel activities and the development of the University in all areas.

The A.J. Drexel Paul Award is the highest honor bestowed by Drexel Alumni.

Alumni Entrepreneur Award

Conferred upon a graduate who attended Drexel for at least two years and who, through the use of his or her Drexel education, initiative and innovation created a new business or venture, or expanded an existing business that reflects credit on Drexel.

  • Initiative: The entrepreneur took the initiative to bring together the economic resources of land, labor and capital to produce a commodity (whether a goods or service) with the hope that such production will create a profitable business venture.
  • Decision-making: The entrepreneur makes the basic business policy decisions for the business, thereby setting the course of the enterprise.
  • Innovation: The entrepreneur is an innovator, attempting to introduce new products and new ways of doing things.
  • Risk-taker: The entrepreneur risks his or her time, effort, business reputation and invested funds in the entrepreneurial venture.

Excellence in Co-operative Education Award

Presented annually at the Steinbright Career Development Center's Co-op Awards, this award recognizes a Drexel alumnus who has completed at least one co-op experience while enrolled. Nominees demonstrate excellence in their chosen fields and serve as an example of the opportunities that experiential education can provide. Nominees should also demonstrate a commitment to sustaining such opportunities for current and future Drexel students, such as through hiring co-ops.

Faculty/Staff Alumni Award for Campus Impact

This award was established to recognize Drexel graduates who continue to serve the University as faculty/professional staff and, who by virtue of their exemplary work as researchers, educators or administrators, have contributed to student success and brought credit to Drexel.

Golden Dragon Society Award

Conferred upon an individual who attended Drexel for at least two years and who graduated 50 or more years ago for distinguished service to the University, profession and/or community.

Harriet E. Worrell Society Award

In 1969, the Harriet E. Worrell Society Award was established in memory of Harriet Worrell, an exceptional Drexel alumna of the Classes of 1909 and 1915 who, through talent and dedication, created the Drexel University Alumni Association.

The Harriet E. Worrell Society Award is presented to an alumna whose professional achievements, contribution to the community, and service to her alma mater embody Worrell's spirit of commitment and integrity. Recipients are selected by a committee of past honorees and must have attended Drexel for at least two years, with the last day of attendance at least five years prior to consideration. The following qualities are considered in the selection of the recipient:

  • Participation in activities that have advanced the mission of Drexel.
  • Participation in events or programs that were sponsored by Drexel.
  • Membership on Drexel boards, committees, clubs, etc.
  • Professional achievements and activities: organization memberships; leadership positions held; awards and honors; workshops/seminars attended or led.
  • Civic and community achievements, activities, and awards.

Service to the Community Award

Conferred upon a graduate who, through voluntary or paid work, has significantly contributed to civic and/or community life.

Service to Profession Award

Conferred upon a graduate who has earned recognition for his/her professional achievements or whose work has contributed to advancements within his/her chosen field.

Silver Dragon Society Award

Conferred upon an individual who attended Drexel for at least two years and who graduated 25-49 years ago for distinguished service to the University, profession and/or community.

Special Distinction Award

Conferred upon an individual, not necessarily a Drexel graduate, whose professional or community involvement reflects credit upon the University.

Young Alumni And Student Awards

Emerging Leader Award

Presented to an individual who graduated within the last 10 years, regardless of age or degree, who is making an impact within his or her community or in his or her profession since graduation.

Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award

Presented to an individual who graduated within the last 10 years, regardless of age or degree, who has demonstrated tremendous loyalty and extraordinary service since graduation.

Types of service can include:

  • Service to community
  • Service to profession
  • Service to university

Young Alumni Entrepreneurship Award

Presented to an individual who graduated within the last 10 years, regardless of age or degree, who has achieved outstanding entrepreneurial success and accomplishment in business.

Outstanding Student Awards

Nominees should demonstrate both active involvement and leadership in University activities and community organizations as demonstrated through commitment of time and roles of responsibility. Nominees should also be in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

University Alumni Awards

Various other colleges, schools, and departments across campus recognize notable alumni in many ways. Nominations for these awards will be accepted later this year. Check out the criteria below and we will notify you when the nomination period begins.

College of Medicine Alumni Association Awards

The Drexel University College of Medicine presents their annual Alumni Association awards at the Dean's Awards Luncheon during Alumni Weekend.

Mary S. Irick Drexel Society Awards

Presented by the Mary S. Irick Society, this award is presented each year to an outstanding Drexel alumnus with fundamental consideration given to alumni of the Goodwin College — formerly known as the Evening College — from whence the award originated. Criteria for this award includes: past contributions of measurable benefit that will enhance and perpetuate the work of Drexel today and into the future; personal attainments reflecting credit to the University; contributions to civic and community life; a continuing, active interest/participation in Drexel activities and in its development in all areas.

Outstanding Alumni Educator Award

Presented by the School of Education Alumni Association

The Outstanding Alumni Educator Award is presented to a graduate of the Drexel School of Education, or an education-related program offered through Drexel, who has demonstrated exceptional skill and ability as an educator as well as a commitment to the profession of education.

Rankin-Epstein Distinguished Alumni Award

Presented by the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

The Rankin-Epstein Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the achievements of a graduate of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design based on excellence in work, dedication to high ideals, and a consistent commitment to citizenship.