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Individual Awards & Scholarships

Awards and scholarships are established to recognize the impact individuals have on the Penn State, local, and global communities and provide financial assistance. Nominations are accepted at various times throughout the year. Please review the information below to learn more about how to apply or nominate a deserving individual for an award or scholarship.

Student Achievement Awards

Student Achievement Awards recognize undergraduate and graduate students for their outstanding achievements inside and outside of the classroom and are traditionally presented at the President or Graduate Award Ceremonies in the spring. There are three separate nomination forms. Nominations for the Student Achievement Awards will be considered for the Eric A. Walker Award, John W. Oswald Award, and the Ralph Dorn Hetzel Memorial Award and are open to graduating seniors who will be part of the Class of 2023. Nomination forms for the Graduate Student Service Award and Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award are separate forms.

  • Nominations for these awards open November 7, 2022 and will close December 14, 2022. The nomination link for each award can be found in the award description below.
The Eric A. Walker Award 

This award recognizes a senior student whose activities and achievements have enhanced the public esteem and renown of Penn State. This award will be presented to a graduating member of the senior class and is open to University Park students only. 

Nomination link

The John W. Oswald Award 

This award recognizes graduating seniors who have provided outstanding leadership in at least one of the following areas of activity of Penn State:

  • Scholarship
  • Athletics
  • Social Services, Religious Activities, and Student Government
  • Journalism, Speech, and the Mass Media
  • Creative and Performing Arts

This award will be presented only to graduating members of the senior class and is open to University Park students only. 

Nomination Link

The Ralph Dorn Hetzel Memorial Award

This award recognizes the achievements and potential of outstanding undergraduate students who have demonstrated the qualities of responsible leadership during their college careers and give promise of public-spirited achievement in the future. This award will be presented only to graduating members of the senior class who have shown outstanding academic achievement and have demonstrated leadership in University or other public activities.

Nomination Link

Graduate Student Service Award 

This award recognizes the graduate student who has best combined high academic achievement with leadership in University or other public activities. This award is open to any current graduate student who has completed a minimum of one full year of graduate studies at Penn State. Law and Medical students are not eligible for this award. 

Nomination Link

The Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award

The purpose of this award is to bring recognition to broad-minded students who openly promote responsible citizenship and civil respect for diversity within the Penn State community while emphasizing a nature of respectful tolerance for the differences among our constituents. This award will be presented annually to one student of outstanding character and leadership. Juniors, seniors, or graduate students are eligible.

Nomination Link

Student Service & Leadership Awards

The following Service and Leadership Awards are available every Spring semester and are awarded at an event in April. Penn State Faculty and Staff may nominate students or students may self-nominate. 

  • Nominations will open Spring of 2023.
Charles and Sharon Bell Scholarship for Citizenship and Leadership

To provide recognition and financial assistance to outstanding undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll at Penn State - University Park who have a proven need for funds to meet their necessary college expense. Preference will be given to students who have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout or Gold Scout.

Craig & Maxine Millar Award

To honor and recognize undergraduate students of at least junior status enrolled at the University who hold a leadership position in a club on campus, have achieved a minimum of 3.3 GPA, have displayed an ability to relate effectively with others, and have made meaningful contributions to student life at the University.

Felsburg/Gohn Leadership Award

The purpose of this award shall be to recognize a Penn State University Park student who has a demonstrated financial need, exhibits integrity and a strong work ethic, and has made valuable contributions to the betterment of the University through service as an officer and/or committee chair of a student organization. 

Jaime Desmond Leadership Scholarship Fund

To recognize full-time undergraduate students who have made valuable contributions to the betterment of the University through service as an officer and/or committee chair of a student organization and exhibit integrity and a strong work ethic.

Jane Wood Reno Memorial Scholarship

To provide recognition and financial assistance to outstanding undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll at Penn State who provide services to the community and/or who hold a leadership position in any student-run group and have a demonstrated need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses.

John and Veda Black Award

The purpose of this award shall be to recognize a Penn State University Commonwealth or University Park student leader serving in a key leadership position who maintains a minimum GPA of 3.25.

Laurel Award for Outstanding Service

The purpose of this award shall be to recognize a Penn State - University Park student who has made valuable contributions in the areas of service and volunteerism to the Penn State community and its surrounding areas.

Leopard Family Eclipse Award

The purpose of this award shall be to recognize a Penn State Commonwealth or University Park student who has made valuable contributions in the areas of service and volunteerism to the Penn State community and its surrounding areas.

Mary Lee Hobbs Steel Emerging Leader

To honor and recognize outstanding achievement by a sophomore or junior student enrolled at Penn State who has demonstrated leadership within the campus, the community, and the classroom, Has demonstrated creativity, initiative, and continued involvement in the Penn State and surrounding communities.

Partisan Award

The purpose of this award shall be to recognize a Penn State - University Park student who has made valuable contributions in the areas of service and volunteerism to the Penn State community and its surrounding areas.

Rose Cologne Keystone Citizen Award

The purpose of this award shall be to recognize a Penn State University Commonwealth or University Park student who has made valuable contributions in the areas of service and volunteerism to the Penn State community and its surrounding areas.

Smile for Sam Scholarship

To provide recognition and financial assistance to outstanding junior and senior undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll at Penn State who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and who have demonstrated past and continuing leadership through community service and/or student organizations.

Stan Latta Dedication Scholarship

 

To provide recognition and financial assistance to outstanding senior undergraduate students enrolled at Penn State who have demonstrated service to a student organization and the campus community, initiated programming efforts to enhance the out-of-class experience for students, have been actively involved in a wide array of co-curricular activities, and displayed strong leadership behaviors and encouraged leadership development among others. Must have a minimum 3.3 GPA.

Student Leader Scholarships

Student Leaders Scholarships provides financial assistance to students who have contributed to the activity and impact their student organization has made on the Penn State University Park campus through their leadership. Decisions will be based on students’ contributions to their organizations, students’ contributions to the greater campus community, and financial need.

Any member of a recognized or affiliate student organization who contributes to the organization through either a leadership role or by active membership is eligible to apply for a student leader scholarship. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please note that first-year students are not eligible to apply for this scholarship. 

The number of scholarships awarded and the amount of each shall be determined by the Student Leader Scholarship Selection Committee in coordination with the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement based on available funds. Decisions will be made by the end of the fall semester.

  • Applications will open September 26, 2022 and will remain open until November 11, 2022 at 11:59pm.

Deadline for the Application and Letter of Recommendation is November 11, 2022, at 11:59pm.

The Letter of Recommendation can either be submitted directly through the application by the student or separately through the OrgCentral Form linked below. Hard copy or emailed Letters of Recommendation will not be accepted.

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103 HUB-Robeson Center
University Park, PA 16802