Published: Nov. 8, 2019

In one of the campus's longest standing traditions, 11 outstanding members of the CU Boulder community were honored Nov. 7 during the Alumni Association's 90th annual alumni awards ceremony, a Homecoming week event.

The event was held in a packed Glenn Miller Ballroom on campus, with a welcome from Ryan Chreist, assistant vice chancellor and executive director of the Alumni Association; remarks and presentation of the awards by Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano; and emceeing by Kim Christiansen, 9News anchor and CU Boulder alumna, whose son is now enrolled as a Buff.

"Today's awards are named for some of the most impotent figures in university history, such as George Norlin and Robert Stearns," DiStefano said. "These awards honor alumni faculty, staff and volunteers."

DiStefano added that these alumni, faculty, staff and volunteers have a long history impacting the world, including the invention of the laser by alumnus Theodore Mayman in 1960 and the development of the sticky part of a Post-it Note by alumnus Spencer Silver in 1968.

The following exceptional alumni, faculty, students and community members were the recipients of the 2019 Alumni Awards:

Forever Buffs Student Award

The Forever Buffs Student award honors CU Boulder students who demonstrate the Forever Buffs tenets of connection, contributing and celebrating their CU pride through extraordinary service to the university.

  • Jessica Mason (PolSci '20)

Leanne Skupa-Lee Award

Presented since 1984, this award recognizes effective and passionate volunteers who serve CU and the CU Boulder Alumni Association with extraordinary commitment, dedication and service to the advancement of the institution and its mission.

  • Carrie Beth Scott (Comm '80)
  • Scott Steinbrecher (PolSci '81; MPubAd '94)

Alumni Recognition Award

A tradition since 1935, this award honors CU Boulder alumni who celebrate the Forever Buffs tenets of connecting, contributing and celebrating their CU pride through their extraordinary service to the university.

  • Daniel Conroy (Hum '91)
  • Brian Cowan (Mktg '79)

Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Graduate Award

Presented since 1982 and renamed in 2004, this award—honoring its namesake's impressive career as a scientist, an astronaut who perished aboard the space shuttle Columbia—recognizes CU Boulder alumni who have made exceptional contributions to their field within 15 years of leaving campus.

  • Savannah Sellers (Jour '13)

Robert L. Stearns Award

This award recognizes members of the faculty and staff for extraordinary achievement in any one or combination of the following areas: teaching, service to the university, work with students, research or off-campus service.

  • David Aragon (DistSt '88; MEdu '11)
  • Sona Dimidjian
  • Todd Gleeson

George Norlin Award

The George Norlin Award honors alumni of CU Boulder for distinguished achievement in their chosen fields of endeavor and a devotion to the betterment of society and their community.

  • Jacalyn Colt (MEdu '76; EdD '89; EdS '95) 
  • Safwan Shah (PhDAeroEngr '94)