Awards and Honors

The Tony Olejnik Leadership Service Award

Several years ago, the Leadership Service Award was established by the Board of Trustees to pay tribute to members of the faculty and staff who exemplify the university's core values of integrity, citizenship, continuous learning and excellence.

In 2004, the award was rechristened the Tony Olejnik Leadership Service Award in memory of a professor who served first on the faculty of George Williams College in Downers Grove, Illinois, and later as a member of the psychology department at Aurora University. During his many years of service, Tony distinguished himself as a colleague, mentor, teacher and friend. This award is presented on behalf of the Board of Trustees by the Provost.

The Marcus and Mark H. Trumbo Award for Excellence in Teaching

In 1976, the institution's most prestigious faculty award was established by Mark Trumbo, a former dean of Aurora College in memory of his father. Upon his own death years later, the award was renamed to recognize the accomplishments of both father and son. This award has served to recognize the finest work of Aurora University faculty in their roles as teachers, mentors, and transformative scholars. The university's chief academic officer presents the Marcus and Mark H. Trumbo Excellence in Teaching Award to a deserving member of the AU faculty at commencement. This year's recipient will provide remarks at the Honors Convocation next spring.

Presented to Recipients of the Bachelor's Degree

Distinguished members of the graduating class are eligible to receive a number of awards and honors, including the following:

Graduation Honors — Individuals with outstanding academic records will receive special recognition during the ceremony. Graduates completing their course of study with a minimum of 90 semester hours for a letter grade, of which 45 semester hours must have been earned at Aurora University will graduate with academic honors. Graduation honors requires the following cumulative grade-point average:

  • Summa Cum Laude: 3.90 to 4.00
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.75 to 3.899
  • Cum Laude: 3.50 to 3.749

Gold Ivy Leaf Award — For superior scholarship for those students who have completed a minimum of 90 semester hours at Aurora University and graduating with at least Magna Cum Laude honors.

Spartan Award — The Spartan Award is presented to a graduating senior who has made outstanding contributions to the life of the university. Students nominated should embody the university's commitment to character and scholarship. Selection criteria include at least two of the following categories:

  • Leadership role(s) in a recognized student organization that demonstrates the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in an educational setting.
  • Leadership role(s) in a recognized athletic field that serves others in continuous learning and improvement.
  • Service to the community indicative of respect, fairness and ethical conduct.

Lincoln Laureate— Each year an outstanding senior from each of the four-year degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Student Lincoln Academy Medallion and thereby becomes a Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

Omicron Delta Kappa — Eligibility for membership in the National Leadership Honor Society is based on established national guidelines. Candidates must rank in the upper 35 percent in scholarship and must show leadership in at least one of five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus or community service, social and religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; or creative and performing arts.

Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society — Eligibility for membership in the Freshman Honor Society is based on first time, full-time university attendance and a term grade-point average of 3.50 during the freshman year.

Honors Program — Aurora University's Honors Program requires of its members the completion of a course of study within each of the four years of the traditional undergraduate curriculum, combining honors coursework in general education, experiential learning in travel-study opportunities, and the completion of an advanced research project within the student's major field of study. Honors students maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 throughout their time in the program, and as seniors completing the program, students present their senior honors projects at Aurora University's Undergraduate Research Conference.

Dunham Scholars — This program seeks out a special kind of student, one chosen for his or her academic accomplishments, as much as for character, work ethic and potential. It is designed to ensure the success of American enterprise by providing a select group of unique and deserving students with an innovative academic experience that will prepare them to thrive and prosper in their communities and in a dynamic world environment.