Alumni: 95,000   Students: 16,000


The true measure of a school’s greatness can be found in the achievements of its alumni. SUNY Empire is globally known to develop leaders in a variety of fields. A vast number of our alumni have gained unique distinction through success in their professions, service to the University, and contribution to their communities.

The purpose of the Alumni Awards Program is to recognize our exemplary alumni who have made a lasting impact on society and on SUNY Empire through outstanding professional, philanthropic or volunteer accomplishments.

The Alumni Student Federation Board of Governors established the Alumni Awards Program beginning in 2016 to not only honor outstanding former students but to further illustrate the great value of the academic programs and pride all alumni, students, faculty and staff have for SUNY Empire.

Annual Awards

Emerging Leader – The Emerging Leader Award recognizes a graduate who has completed his/her degree within the last 5 years, and since graduation has demonstrated significant leadership to his or her profession, community and/or SUNY Empire.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Significant career achievements including: national, regional, local professional awards, career advancement, leadership roles within professional organizations, community and/or SUNY Empire.
  • Civic involvement
  • Graduated within the last 5 years

Community Impact – The Community Impact Award recognizes a graduate who has demonstrated inspirational leadership by providing exceptional service to their community and beyond.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Exemplifies inspirational leadership and initiative through teaching, coaching, organizing, serving on boards and committees and/or other leadership roles within the community.
  • Exceptional service to community: extraordinary commitment to volunteering, creating a lasting impression on their community.

Distinguished Leader – The Distinguished Leader Award recognizes a graduate who has rendered outstanding service to the college and within their community through philanthropic support.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • Transformational philanthropy
  • Leadership and service to SUNY Empire

Veteran Service – The Veteran Service Award recognizes an ESC alumnus and veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, who has made a positive impact on the SUNY Empire, local, national, international, and/or veteran communities.

Please consider the following areas when submitting your nomination:

  • A strong SUNY ESC connection which could including: volunteering, attending events, financial support
  • Military accomplishment or contributions
  • Significant personal and/or professional achievements
  • Extraordinary commitment to volunteering, creating a lasting impression on their community
  • Exceptional service to the veteran community

Eligibility for the Veteran Service Award:

  • A “person who served in the active military, naval or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable. In general, active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, the Environmental Science Services Administration or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey.” 
  • When submitting the nomination for this award, please reference the dates of service and rank of the nominee for this recognition. 


Click here to read the official press release for the 2021-22 Alumni Award recipients.

To view past award recipients, please click here.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Each recipient must have attained notable achievement or made a lasting contribution to his or her professional, philanthropic or voluntary endeavors.
  • Each recipient must have earned a degree from SUNY Empire.
  • Candidates may only be considered for one award category per year.
  • Past award recipients may not be re-nominated for the same award.
  • In highly exceptional circumstances, an alumnus/a who has already received one category of alumni award might receive an award in a different category at another point in time.
  • The Awards Committee is not obligated to select a recipient from each category if applicants do not adequately meet the requirements.
  • Please refer to the Veteran Service Award eligibility for further definition and criteria when submitting nominations for that award.

Nomination Process

Any interested person may submit a nomination for an Alumni Award, which are then reviewed by the awards committee of the Alumni Student Federation Board of Governors. Self-nominations will be accepted. The committee is currently accepting The deadline for submission for the 2022-2023 awards has passed contact for more information.  

All nominations should include:

  1. Completed online nomination form.
  2. Nominator’s recommendation statement (up to two pages) establishing the candidate’s qualifications with clear and concise detail as to why he/she should be selected for the award.
  3. Nominee resume of biography and additional background information.
  4. Up to two professional letters of support must be included with the nomination form. Limit of two pages per letter.

Please note:
* A separate nomination form must be completed for each nominee.
* Incomplete nomination packets will NOT be considered.

Questions? Please contact Kimberly Neher, Director of Alumni Engagement, at 518-587-2100 ext. 3013 or


Selection Process

Alumni Award recipients will be selected each year by the awards committee of the Alumni Student Federation Board of Governors. Selected recipients are informed of their nominations and selections by a member of the awards committee and their acceptance of the award is then confirmed. After all award recipients are confirmed, nominators are informed of their candidates’ status.