Ithaca alumni are an accomplished group. Many have made important contributions to service organizations, to their community, and to Ithaca College. In recognition of outstanding efforts by alumni as well as by nonalumni affiliated with the College, the alumni association board of directors gives seven awards.
Edgar "Dusty" Bredbenner Jr. '50 Distinguished Alumni Award
Awarded to graduates who have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service to Ithaca College over a long period, this is the highest award the alumni association presents. Past recipients have served with distinction in organizations such as the alumni association advisory board of directors and the board of trustees or have made significant contributions to one of the College's schools or programs. Formerly known as the Distinguished Alumni Award, the award was renamed to honor one of the most involved alumni in College history.
Lifetime Achievement Award
This award acknowledges alumni who have achieved exceptional success in their professions or who have contributed significantly to the advancement and leadership of noteworthy civic, philanthropic, or service organizations for many years. The lifelong achievement of past recipients has brought them significant recognition and has set a standard of excellence to which others may aspire.
James J. Whalen Meritorious Service Award
This award recognizes nonalumni for their distinguished contributions to Ithaca College through their professional, civic, or philanthropic activities. All recipients have had a significant connection to IC, such as membership on the board of trustees, longtime service as a staff or faculty member, or volunteer work on behalf of the College. Once known as the Meritorious Service Award, the award was renamed in 1997 for Ithaca College's sixth president.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is given to alumni who have graduated within the past 2–10 years and who are excelling in their professions. All recipients have been recognized as emerging leaders in their fields.
Professional Achievement Award
This award recognizes graduates who have achieved national, regional, or local distinction in their professions; who acknowledge the importance of their Ithaca College education in reaching their career goals; and who have demonstrated long-standing loyalty to the College.
Volunteer Service Award
Given to alumni and nonalumni, this award acknowledges those who have contributed significantly to the College in one or more of the following areas: admission, career services, student affairs, regional activities, fund-raising, and athletics. The award is also given to those who have made outstanding efforts on behalf of a particular department, program, or school.
Humanitarian Alumni Award
Given to alumni who have made a transformative contribution to the nation or to the world. These honorees have achieved recognition for making a noteworthy, positive change to the human condition.