Every year, Washington University’s schools recognize their most talented and accomplished graduates with Distinguished Alumni Awards. The honorees are leaders in their respective fields and embody university values such as integrity, courage, and innovation. The award ceremonies provide a forum to celebrate the many ways alumni transform and improve the broader.

Universitywide awards


Founders Day

Commemorating the university’s founding in 1853, Founders Day serves as an occasion to reflect upon the university’s history, progress, and achievements. In honoring distinguished alumni, outstanding faculty, and its most treasured friends, Washington University recognizes the many people who have contributed to the university’s past success and bright future.


Ethic of Service Award

The Gerry and Bob Virgil Ethic of Service Award is an annual award recognizing a select group of WashU community members who exemplify a character of service and engagement with the St. Louis region. Any member of the WashU community, past or current, who resides in and serves the St. Louis community is eligible to receive the award. 


Harris Award

The Jane and Whitney Harris St. Louis Community Service Award is presented annually to a St. Louis couple who make significant contributions to the culture and welfare of the greater St. Louis community. Jane Freund Harris and her husband, Whitney Harris, exemplified the best qualities of service to fellow citizens, and this award encourages other St. Louis couples to follow in their footsteps.