SYA alumni, faculty and others make amazing things happen in the world.

Their accomplishments advance the common good inspiring others toward innovation and creativity. In its 50th year, SYA established the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Honorary Alumnus/a Award. If you are interested in nominating an individual for either award, please see below.

SYA Distinguished Alumni Award

The SYA Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes outstanding alumni leaders. SYA alumni make a profound impact in their professions and in their communities. Many alumni have risen to extraordinary heights in their professional and/or volunteer endeavors and their achievements and recognition have reflected honor on SYA. These alumni embody the values and core principals of the SYA and has demonstrated extraordinary service to their field, humanity or society.

Nominee Criteria
1. An alumnus/a SYA, who has not received this honor previously;
2. An individual who has made extraordinary contributions to his or her field and/or to his or her community;

Note: Alumni who are currently employed by SYA or serve on the Board of Trustees are ineligible. 

Process for Nomination, Decision Making, Notification and Awarding
Each fall, SYA will invite nominations for the SYA Distinguished Alumni Award through SYA communications. The nomination form must be submitted to the Director of Alumni Relations by March 30.  The Director of Alumni Relations will then submit the slate of nominees to the Philanthropy Council Awards Committee for its review. Nominations will be kept on an active-consideration list for three years. The award need not be given on an annual basis and may be awarded posthumously.

An announcement will be made in June of the same year.

Award winners will be honored at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner in October. The recipient will receive an award either in person at a time designated by the Office of Alumni Relations or through the mail.

SYA Honorary Alumnus/a Award

The SYA Honorary Alumnus/a Award was established to honor individuals who have made significant contributions toward SYA’s welfare, reputation, and/or prestige, and/or toward its students, faculty and/or alumni, and who are not themselves alumni of SYA.

Nominee Criteria
To be considered for this honor, the individual:
1. May not be an alumnus/a of SYA, either by attendance at an SYA school or by receiving this honor previously;
2. Made significant contributions toward SYA’s welfare, reputation, or prestige, or toward its students, faculty or alumni;
3. Has given extraordinary and valuable contribution of time and/or effort to SYA;
4. Demonstrates a depth of loyalty, involvement and commitment to SYA’s mission parallel that of an SYA alumnus/a.

Process for nomination
The qualifications of a potential honorary alumnus candidate should first be discussed with the Director of Alumni Relations. Following this discussion and the mutual agreement that the individual meets the criteria and may be eligible for the award, an official nomination form must be submitted to the Director of Alumni Relations by April 30. The Director of Alumni Relations will then make a recommendation to SYA’s President and Executive Director, who must reach a unanimous decision. This honor may be posthumously bestowed.

Notification of the SYA Honorary Alumnus/a Award
The recipient will be notified by July of the same year. The recipient will be given a certificate commemorating the Honorary Alumnus Award either through the mail or in person at a time designated by the Office of Alumni Relations.

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Class of SYA Spain 1965 (2015)
G. Parker Harris FR'85 (2017)
Charles H. Rivkin FR'79 (2017)

Honorary Alumnus/a Award Recipients
Ángel Vilalta ES’65-'98F (2015)
Marie-Cécile Heurtin FR’68-'09F (2015)