Annual Alumni Awards

The Class Award of Merit

Established in 1957, to honor an "outstanding class", this award is presented annually at the Alumni Award of Merit Gala event held on Homecoming Weekend — an event attended by the University President. Historically, the Award has focused on the most visible alumni event—Reunion or Alumni Weekend. Today, however, for the interested alum, there is no need to wait five years to be connected to Penn. Recognizing that there are so many more opportunities today to connect with Penn, not only in Philadelphia, but elsewhere as well, the focus of the Award is evolving towards a "5 year ongoing achievement," employing innovative best practices and broad-based involvement.

This is intended to encourage:
  • Classes to develop more continuity of activities
  • An enhanced emphasis on innovative forms of outreach and class engagement.
While the reunion will remain a major factor in the award — and each class will have a 5-year reunion in its profile — other elements will be considered, including: specific class events beyond reunions, participation in other University events at the local and regional levels, participation in class giving over time, and maintaining an ongoing communications plan.

Past Winners

The David N. Tyre Award for Class Communications


Established in 1989, to recognize outstanding communication with the class, this Award also is presented annually at the Alumni Award of Merit Gala event held on Homecoming Weekend. Historically, the main formal communication with the class was through the Class Newsletter, which is issued through the Office of Alumni Relations.

With the widespread use of electronic communications, including both e-mails and web sites, the process of formal and informal communications with the class has changed dramatically. Today, the University offers each class its own web site, that allows for an “active” communications program, including constant information and personal news updates, games, interactive input from class members, and information about and registration for events. In addition, many Classes have an active social media presence, and strive for innovative ways to communicate with their members throughout the 5 year reunion cycle.

The David N. Tyre Award for Class Communications takes these new communications into account. Considerations include creativity, content, frequency of communications and keeping information current.

Past Winners

Click here for Awards Submission Document with questions needed to submit for 2016 Awards.