APLU Awards

APLU has four institutional awards designed to highlight achievements in community engagement, student success and degree completion, internationalization, and innovation and economic prosperity. In 2023 APLU awarded the inaugural Peter McPherson Lifetime Achievement Award to Nancy Zimpher, whose career has been dedicated to the service and leadership of public and land-grant universities.

Peter McPherson Lifetime Achievement Award

APLU created the Peter McPherson Lifetime Achievement Award to honor an individual whose career has been dedicated to the service and leadership of public and land-grant universities. Candidates should have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to advancing student success; research and discovery; and community and economic engagement. The award is named after Peter McPherson. president of APLU from 2006-2022.

C. Peter Magrath & W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Awards

Since 2007, APLU C. Peter Magrath Award for Community Engagement has provided national recognition for the outstanding community-university engagement work of public universities. The Magrath Award winner is chosen from one of four regional winners of the The Kellogg Awards, which are presented each fall during the Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) Annual Conference.  Both the Magrath Award and the Kellogg Awards recognize universities that have enhanced their learning, discovery, and engagement missions by becoming more integrated with their communities.

Degree Completion Award

Student success and degree completion are one of the most pressing concerns for institutions of higher education in America; however, ever-changing student needs coupled with evolving workforce demands require institutions to become expert innovators to meet these complex needs. To support its members, APLU established the Degree Completion Award to identify and honor public universities that are using innovative strategies and initiatives to increase retention and graduation outcomes and/or close achievement gaps for all students.

International Impact Award

The world’s most complex challenges are global in nature, requiring international cooperation and collaboration to develop solutions. These global challenges have created a world in which interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and cross-national learning, research, and engagement are basic requirements for excellence. Institutions able to prepare students-of-the-world and support global research and engagement will be the successful colleges and universities of this Conference Program15century. Global diversity within our institutions is no longer just nice to have, but a scholarly and practical imperative. The APLU Institutional Award for Global Learning, Research, and Engagement recognizes public research universities and their leaders who excel in their efforts to drive an inclusive approach to their global engagement, research, and learning, and measure the impact of these efforts.

Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities Awards

APLU’s Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities program is the leading certification process recognizing higher education institutions that have demonstrated a sustainable and institutional-level commitment to “economic engagement” or the ways in which universities advance 1) Talent and workforce development 2) Innovation, entrepreneurship and tech-based economic development and 3) Place development via public service, community engagement, outreach and extension. Universities that have earned APLU’s IEP University designation qualify for the IEP awards competition world-class leaders in economic engagement. The awards promote the significant contributions and achievements by universities in developing innovation and entrepreneurship, talent, and place in their region, and in building connections across these types of contributions.