Alumni: 84,000   Students: 17,000


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

The purpose of the Alumni Awards Program is to recognize the college’s exemplary alumni who have made a lasting impact on society and on Empire State College 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 the college.

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 Empire State College

2018 Alumni Award Recipients
Erin Sullivan ’04, ’13, a union shop steward in New York City and resident of Congers, N.Y., Emad Rahim ’02, ’03, an educator living in Syracuse, N.Y., and John Corrou ’94, a retired sales executive living in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., have been selected to receive this year’s Emerging Leader Award, Community Impact Award and Distinguished Leader Award, respectively, by the SUNY Empire State College Alumni Student Federation Board of Governors.

The board of governors unanimously approved the awardees at its meeting on May 12, 2018 held at the college’s location at 113 West Ave., Saratoga Springs.

All three recipients will be honored at the joint Empire State College Foundation and Federation Board of Governor’s awards dinner, to be held in Saratoga Springs this fall. To read the full release, please visit:

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 Empire State College.
  • 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.

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. Nominations for the 2017-2018 Awards start on November 1, 2017 and end on March 1, 2018. Nominations for the 2017-2018 Alumni Awards have officially closed. All nominations should include:

  1. Completed online nomination form or download the PDF Version to complete via mail.
  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 Lindsay Valenti, Associate Director of Alumni and Student Relations, at 518-580-4779 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.