Office of Student Leadership & Engagement

Cornerstone Awards Criteria and Nominations


2022-2023 Cornerstone Nominations

Nominations for all Cornerstone Awards will open December 1st, 2022 and close
January 25th, 2023 at noon. Criteria for all awards are listed below.

Click here for an awards fact sheet to guide your nomination process 

Submission Form will open for Nominations Dec. 1st!

Single Recipient Awards

William A. Bryan Senior Leader Award 

Bryan Senior Leader Award is presented to one member of the graduating senior class. The recipient must be in good standing with the university and be graduating in May or December with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. In addition, this graduating Senior should have distinguished themselves among their peers in the following ways:
  • Embodiment of ethics and integrity
  • Demonstration of creativity
  • Collaborative efforts with other students, organizations, and/or departments
  • Significant growth and development throughout their UNCW experience
  • Showcase of success in academics
  • A history of breadth and/or depth in the practice of leadership
  • Passion in their commitment of service to others
  • Model representative of the university who demonstrates a lifelong affinity for UNCW
  • Made a lasting impact on the university community

Rachel Freeman Service Leadership Award

Freeman Service Leadership Award is presented to one member of the graduating senior class. The recipient must be in good standing with the university and be graduating in May or December with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.67. In addition, this graduating Senior should have distinguished themselves among their peers in the following ways:

  • Recognized by peers, faculty, and/or administration as a servant leader
  • Passion in their commitment of service to others
  • Sense of selflessness
  • Commitment to and promotion of social justice
  • Collaboration with others to enact social change
  • Demonstrated commitment to bettering the lives of others

A. Farrell Teague Merit Scholarship for Rising Seniors

The scholarship was created by Arthur Farrell Teague and will be used to assist rising seniors who have achieved a high level of academic and extracurricular success during their time at UNCW. Every year, a recipient will be chosen and deemed the recipient of “The Teague Award”. The scholarship is considered a merit scholarship and the recipient will be selected on demonstrated academic ability and special achievement.

  • Recipient must have a comprehensive GPA above 5 as verified by the Registrar.
  • The recipient must also exemplify a high level of engagement including campus involvement or leadership and examples of scholarly research as evidenced through progress in Honors or other substantive academic projects.
  • The Farrell Teague Merit Scholarship may be awarded to an undergraduate student, who is considered a rising senior by virtue of credit hours earned.

Martha M. Duncan Scholarship

The Martha M. Duncan Scholarship is presented to one sophomore or junior student. The recipient must be in good standing with the university and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. In addition, this Sophomore or Junior should have distinguished themselves among their peers in the following ways:

  • Excellence in their work with a student organization or in a university department
  • Exemplary and consistent service to the UNCW campus community
  • Committed to their growth and development through leadership
  • Emerging as a role model for their peers
  • This recipient will serve as a “LEAD Fellow” in the “Leadership Center” for the scholarship year (approximately 8 hours per week)

UNCW Laureate Award

The UNCW Laureate Award, inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize, is presented to one sophomore or junior student. The recipient must be in good standing with the university and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. In addition, this Sophomore or Junior should have distinguished themselves among their peers in the following ways:

  • Maintains a passion for social justice and human rights
  • Acts as an advocate for social change
  • Facilitation of organized action to create positive change on campus or in the community
  • Educates others on local and global issues
  • Initiator of constructive dialogue which has encouraged reflection and positive change

Margaret Walthour Lippitt Scholarship

The Margaret Walthour Lippitt Scholarship is presented to one first year student. The recipient must be in good standing with the university and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. In addition, this first year student should have distinguished themselves among their peers in the following ways:

  • Focus on academic success
  • Active exploration of involvement and leadership on campus through a student organization or department
  • Engaged in service to the campus or community
  • Demonstrates potential to have a lasting impact on UNCW

Carolyn Elizabeth (Lizzy) Duffy Student Sustainability Award

The Carolyn Elizabeth (Lizzy) Duffy Student Sustainability Award was created in March 2015 to honor Lizzy Duffy’s passion, diligence, and drive in creating The Green Initiative Fund which brings support, resources, and visibility to sustainability at UNCW. The award is presented to one student who has been at UNCW at least one semester during the academic year, and that recipient must be in good standing with the university with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Nominees are encouraged and accepted from any discipline or field of study. 

  • The award recognizes the service and commitment of a student who exemplifies passion, stewardship, and dedication for sustainability not only at UNCW but our surrounding community and the world we live in.
  • The student must distinguish themselves by demonstrating their commitment to the intersectionality of the three pillars of sustainability: economic vitality, social equity, and environmental stewardship.

Multiple Recipient Awards

The Pat Leonard Senior Medallion Award

The Senior Medallion Award is the most prestigious award presented by the Division of Student Affairs on behalf of the university community. The award was renamed in 2021 to honor Pat Leonard, the late Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and her 37 years of service to UNCW. Recipients must be in good standing with the university and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. In addition, these graduating Seniors should have distinguished themselves among their peers through significant contributions of the following characteristics:

  • A focus on academic achievement (through research, internship, practica, service- learning, study abroad, etc.)
  • A history of breadth and/or depth in the practice of leadership (in the classroom, in student organizations, in the campus or Wilmington community, as a student employee, as a student athlete, etc.)
  • Passionate in their commitment of service to others (through service-learning, community service, philanthropy, research, etc.)
  • Model representative of the university who demonstrates a lifelong affinity for UNCW
  • A lasting impact on the university community

The Senior Medallion is awarded to approximately 25 graduating Seniors each year. Students may only receive this award once.


Distinguished Engagement Award

The Distinguished Engagement Award is presented to a select group of junior, senior, and transfer students who have made a significant contribution to UNCW over the course of their undergraduate experience. Recipients must be in good standing with the university and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. In addition, these students should have distinguished themselves among their peers through one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The continual practice of and increased responsibility in leadership (in the classroom, student organizations, campus or Wilmington community, as a student employee, student athlete, etc.)
  • Exemplary and consistent service to others (through service-learning, community service, philanthropy, research, etc.)
  • Excellent representative of the university and role model to others
  • Contributed an improvement or positive change in the university community

The Distinguished Engagement Award is presented to a group of approximately 40 junior, and senior students each year. Students may only receive this award once.


Excellence in Engagement Award

The Excellence in Engagement Award is presented to a select group sophomore, junior, and transfer students for outstanding contributions to improving the quality of student life during their time at UNCW. Recipients must currently be in good standing with the university and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. In addition, these students should have distinguished themselves among their peers through one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The practice of leadership (in the classroom, in student organizations, in the campus or Wilmington community, as a student employee, as a student athlete, etc.)
  • Service to others (through service-learning, community service, philanthropy, research, etc.)
  • Excellent representative of the university

The Excellence in Engagement Award is presented to a group of approximately 50 sophomore, and junior students each year. Students may only receive this award once.