Student Awards


Graduating Student Awards

Celebrate Rensselaer Students!

Nominate a deserving graduating student today for the contributions they have made to the Rensselaer community through their academic, athletic, and service endeavors. Our community is better as a result of their time at Rensselaer and these awards are a way of showing them our appreciation.

Self-nominations and referral applications are encouraged. The nomination deadline is Friday, March 22 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Before you proceed with this nomination form, please be prepared to upload an application or nomination letter as described in the award description. Nominations must be in .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, .png, or .gif format for all awards except the Paul B. Zuber and Barbara J. Zuber Award for Underrepresented Students.

Place Your Nomination

Willie Stanton Award (1981)

Established in 1981 by the Rensselaer Union, the award is in honor of William P. (Willie) Stanton, Class of 1972 (hon.), a dishwasher and cook who served the academic and social needs of Rensselaer students for over 45 years. His support of Rensselaer athletics and activities earned him the nickname "Mr. RPI." Willie was a person who was always there to help anyone who needed a kind word, or a small favor, and he did so in a quiet, unassuming manner. This award is presented annually to the senior who is judged to have contributed the most in service to the student body, in much the same way.

The selection committee consists of:

  • Vice President for Student Life
  • Dean of Students
  • Director of the Rensselaer Union  

Livingston W. Houston Citizenship Award (1964)

Established by Clay P. Bedford, the prize is given in memory of Livingston Waddell Houston, 11th president of Rensselaer. It is awarded to a student who, in the opinion of a committee is considered the "First Citizen of the College." The recipient must rank high in character, leadership, scholarship, and athletic ability. Should no student qualify for the prize in any one year, the funds available for the prize may be used for related purposes as determined by the Board of Trustees. 

The selection committee consists of:

  • President of the University
  • Provost
  • Dean of Students
  • Director of Athletics
  • Director of the Student Union
Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson CLASS Award (2013)

The Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson CLASS (Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students) Award recognizes a graduating senior who as a leader exemplifies the ability to solve complex challenges through intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication, and a global view. The student must demonstrate outstanding leadership skills, possess an excellent academic record, and have created a positive impact on the community.

The recipient of the award is determined by the Vice President for Student Life.

Shakuntala Devi and Krishna Deva Malaviya Public Service Award (2018)

Established by Rensselaer Professor Bimal K. Malaviya and his siblings in honor of their parents, the award recognizes a graduating student who best exemplifies sustained excellence and selflessness in the service to others during their academic career.

The recipient of the award is determined by the Vice President for Student Life.

Paul B. Zuber and Barbara J. Zuber Award for Underrepresented Students (1990)

The award recognizes the leadership and academic merit of underrepresented graduate or undergraduate students enrolled at Rensselaer. This award is given to one Black, Latinx, Native American (or multi-racial) graduating senior and one continuing student who has exhibited service and leadership to the Institute and their community while maintaining outstanding academic performance.

Frederick M. Nussbaum ’30 Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteerism (2006)

This award is granted to an outstanding junior Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) student in recognition of their volunteer activities at Rensselaer and their civic involvement in bettering the community in and around Rensselaer.