The President’s Awards program recognizes outstanding contributions of staff and faculty in the areas of the University of Tennessee’s three-fold mission to provide education, conduct research and to offer outreach.


Award honors accomplishments that enhance educational offerings and diverse learning environments.


Award honors inventions, discoveries and applications of knowledge.


Award honors outreach, engagement and service efforts and programs.


Award honors efforts in support of educational excellence; discoveries and applications of knowledge; and outreach, engagement and service.


Award honors the extraordinary effort of a faculty or staff member in support of the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence.


Many excellent recognition programs exist at each UT campus and institute. The President’s Awards program is designed to enhance those efforts on a system-wide platform by honoring our best from across the state.

Simply put, the program is the highest honor a UT employee can receive and is intended to spotlight success and inspire excellence.

Honorees are selected each year from a system-wide pool of candidates nominated by campus and institute leaders. Commemorative and monetary awards are presented during an annual ceremony, and faculty and staff winners will help select honorees in future years.

About the President’s Award

President's medallion

The President’s Award was inspired by the University of Tennessee President’s Medallion.

The medallion bears the President’s Seal and is worn by the president for commencement ceremonies. It was originally designed by UT architect Malcolm Rice for the inauguration of Dr. Andy Holt in 1960. The three words in the center signify the qualities of a UT president—vision, character and energy. The silver overlay depicts a Gordian knot being cut by a sword, a leaping flame signifying the torch of knowledge and a quill representing the power of the written word.