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The Outstanding Graduates Program 

Northwestern graduates are making an impact, and each year we look forward to honoring them for their accomplishments. 

The Outstanding Graduates program was established by the Northwestern Alumni Association in 1973 to recognize outstanding achievement. Initially, no distinction was made between categories. In 1977, awards were presented in the specific fields of business/professional, education and humanitarian.

In 1984, the Recognition Award was added to honor a graduate who has made significant achievements within five years of his/her commencement. The Ranger Recognition Award was first awarded in 1990 and an arts category was introduced in 2010.

Nomination Process

Deadline for nominations is January 1.

  • The nomination form must be completed in its entirety in order for it to be considered by the Outstanding Graduate Committee. This committee is comprised of Alumni Board members.
  • Nominees for Northwestern Oklahoma State University outstanding graduates must be graduates of the university.
  • Nominees must be able to attend the Spring Alumni Reunion Banquet the last Saturday of April.
  • Nominators have the opportunity to nominate in the category they believe best fits their candidate’s qualifications. However, the Outstanding Graduate Committee may select a candidate whose credentials and accomplishments fit within a different category.
  • If there are no nominations made for particular categories or the Outstanding Graduate Committee recognizes there are no qualified candidates for specific categories, then the award will not be given.

Outstanding Graduate Nominations

Nominees must be graduates who have demonstrated recognizable accomplishment in his/her profession, business, avocation, or life services in a way as to bring pride and honor to the University.

Nominees for each category do not necessarily need to hold degrees in a relevant discipline, as many of our alumni have successfully moved from one career to another. 

Nominations remain active for two years.

The following information provides guidelines for nominating graduates in specific categories.  Including supporting information – relevant to these guidelines – about your nominee will be invaluable for the review by the Outstanding Graduate Committee. 

Arts. Nominees for Outstanding Graduate in the Arts category should be recognized as having significantly contributed in one of the following areas:

  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
  • Literary arts

Business/Professional. Nominees for Outstanding Graduate in the Business/Professional category should be recognized as having made a distinctive mark in their business and/or standing as a professional. 

Education. Nominees for Outstanding Graduate in the Education category should be recognized for their excellence in and/or out of the classroom, as well as those contributing to research in the educational field.  Nominees may have experience in one or a combination of three of the following areas:

  • Public schools, K-12
  • Private schools, K-12
  • Schools of higher education, public and private
  • Vocational and technology schools 

Humanitarian. Nominees for Outstanding Graduate in the Humanitarian category should be acknowledged for their work to improve the welfare and safety of others while maintaining and protecting human dignity. Their accomplishments can be recognized on a local, state, national or global level.

Ranger Spirit. Nominees for the Outstanding Ranger Recognition category should be recognized for their exceptional support of the university and the embodiment of Ranger spirit. This is the former Ranger Recognition Award.

Recognition. Nominees for the Outstanding Recognition category will be honored for their significant achievements within 10 years of his/her graduation.


 Nominate an Outstanding Graduate


 Past Outstanding Graduates

Phone: (580) 327-8593
Fax: (580) 327-8499

Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association
709 Oklahoma Blvd.
Alva, OK 73717

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