The Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Award celebrates the top 1% of undergraduate students who achieve academic excellence while also giving back to the community through civic or volunteer work, by conducting research, or being engaged in a co-op or work in their field of study.
Undergraduate students at RIT who maintained a minimum grade point average of 3.85 out of a possible 4.0.
Completed 83 credit hours of study, more than two-thirds of the credit hours required for a baccalaureate degree.
Students are also selected based on other factors complementing academic achievement, such as creative work, service on student committees, civic activities, employment, and independent research.
RIT's Registrar sends a list of the students who meet the award criteria to a committee in each college. The committee reviews each submission and selects the award recipients.
The RIT Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars Awards will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2023. This event recognizes the top one percent of RIT students each year. Students awarded with this distinction have completed at least 83 credit hours of study and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.85 for university work completed as of last year’s spring term. The event includes an awards ceremony and reception (immediately following). Both the awards ceremony and the reception will be held in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center on the RIT campus.
If you are unable to join us in person, the ceremony will be live-streamed. The link for the live stream will be available on the day of the event on this page.
Information for Scholars
Congratulations on being named an Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar! You will be honored at a reception, award ceremony, and dinner, and you will be presented with a special medallion designed by the late Professor Hans Christensen of the School for American Crafts.
As part of your recognition, RIT honors former high school or community college teachers of our Outstanding Scholars. We encourage you to identify a high school or community college teacher whom you consider to be the exemplary. RIT will acknowledge the teacher you nominate with a certificate and will invite and cover travel expenses for those in the continental United States and Canada to join you at the recognition events.
Important dates (deadlines for RSVP’s, dinner tickets, ceremony)
Deadline for submitting biographical content: January 6
Deadline for nominating a past high school or community college teacher: January 6
Deadline for approving biographical content for printed program: February 3
RSVPs due for students, guests, and honored teachers: February 17
Deadline to modify guests: March 9
Information for Honored Teachers
Congratulations on being selected as an Honored Teacher at the RIT Outstanding Undergraduate Scholar Awards!
As part of the Scholars’ recognition, we have asked them to identify a high school or community college teacher whom they consider to be the “best” — a teacher they would like honored as a model for others. These teachers have had a profound influence on their career and have been an inspiration in their life. As one of the few selected for this honor, please accept our congratulations.
A reception, award ceremony, and dinner in honor of these Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars and their high school or community college teachers will be held on March 19, 2020.
You will have an opportunity to visit with your former student at the reception and you will be seated with them and their family and guests, at dinner. A certificate of appreciation and an acknowledgement from your Scholar will be presented during the dinner program.
Travel and Expenses
RIT will pay your airfare or mileage, along with associated tolls, within the United States or Canada, and one night’s lodging at the RIT Inn and Conference Center (including breakfast on Friday). RSVPs are accepted online for this event; you will receive a link via email from Academic Affairs at RIT. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Dawn Murray at 585-475-5334.
Please record your expenses on the expense form and return it to Dawn Murray, along with original receipts and the W-9 form, for reimbursement. When we receive your expense form, we will process a reimbursement check and mail it to you at the address indicated on the form. The process usually takes 10-14 business days.
Flight and Hotel Information
If you require flight arrangements, please contact Tzell Travel at 1-800-842-0941. Please let the counselor know you are making flight arrangements for RIT’s Outstanding Undergraduate Awards. Your flight will be direct-billed to RIT. If you book your flight another way, RIT will reimburse you for the cost of the flight.
A room has been reserved for you at the RIT Inn and Conference Center, 5257 West Henrietta Road, W. Henrietta, NY, 14586 (585-359-1800) for the evening of March 19. As a reminder, the cost of the room will be billed directly to RIT. At check-in, you will receive a gift certificate to Petals Restaurant for breakfast on Friday morning. You will be responsible for any other incidental charges (i.e. room service, movies, etc.)
The RIT Inn and Conference Center provides shuttle service to and from the Greater Rochester International Airport. Please contact the Inn by phone when you arrive to request shuttle service. The Inn is 10 minutes from RIT and provides shuttle service to and from campus. Please inquire with staff at the Inn to reserve the shuttle for transportation to and from the event. Drop off and pick up should be at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center at the south end of D lot (map).
Information for Guests
We look forward to joining recognizing your student’s outstanding achievement at this event. RSVPs will be accepted until February 17.
The FAQ section includes information on parking, directions, accessibility, and other topics.
Dinner is provided for each scholar, their honored teacher and up to three guests at no cost. Additional guest tickets are available for the dinner for $25. All guests who plan to attend the dinner must complete an RSVP; walk-ins cannot be accommodated at this invitation-only, catered event. Attendance at the reception and ceremony is open to the public and free of charge.
Guest Ceremony and Reception Details (open to all)
On Thursday, March 19, 2020, a reception for the RIT Outstanding Undergraduate Scholars begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center. Your student will be required to check in at the Gordon Field House lower-level entrance to receive table assignments for dinner. Guests may proceed directly to the reception. The Scholars will be honored at an awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m.
Guest Dinner Details (invitation only)
Your student will be required to check in at the Gordon Field House lower-level entrance to receive table assignments for dinner. A catered dinner will be served following the ceremony; dinner choices do not need to be selected in advance. Please include any dietary restrictions with your event RSVP.
DF - Dairy free
GF - Gluten free
V - Vegetarian
If you have a nut allergy, please let us know. Desserts are prepared at an off-campus facility that contains/processes nuts. A substitute that is prepared on-campus will be offered.
If you have any dietary restrictions not mentioned above, please contact Dawn Murray.
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Since 1976, RIT has honored the top 1% of students who are able to maintain a record of academic excellence while also giving back to their community through civic or volunteer work, conducting research, or being engaged in co-op or work in their field of study.
RIT is pleased to pay tribute to these undergraduates who have demonstrated devotion to excellence is an inspiration to the university community.
The bronze medallion awarded to RIT Scholars was designed by the late professor Hans Christensen, renowned silversmith and first holder of the Charlotte Fredericks Mowris Chair in Contemporary Crafts in the School for American Crafts. Professor Christensen was the youthful recipient of two medallions for excellence in silver design and execution from the King of Denmark. His memory of this special event in his own life became the genesis for RIT's bronze medallion.
Professor Christensen chose traditional symbols for wisdom and respect—the Athenian owl and the olive branch—as images for the medallion. Each student attending the ceremony receives their medallion from the President, who personally acknowledges their academic excellence.
Home-schooled students may nominate a home-school educator, parent, or relative who has played an important role in their home school education. Please submit the name of your home school educator you’d like to honor and how you would like your home school name to appear in the program. You may also nominate a community college teacher.
This event is designed to honor high school and community college teachers who have influenced the Scholar and the Scholar’s career. There are other programs at RIT to recognize outstanding RIT faculty.
The ceremony is American Sign Language interpreted. The Gordon Field House and Activities Center is equipped with an FM hearing assistance system. Receivers will be available at the ticket office in the main lobby.
Floor seating is reserved for scholars and faculty; guest seating is available in the bleachers. Please contact Academic Affairs if you or a family member require special accommodations for wheelchairs or walkers.
Students, guests, and honored teachers should plan to arrive by 4:45 p.m. All event participants will need to check in at the lower level entrance of the Gordon Field House (near D-Lot). Please see the RIT Safety Plan for the latest information regarding vaccination requirements for events on campus. The ceremony will begin at 5:30p.m.; and a reception will immediately follow the ceremony.
People without an RIT username can connect to the "RIT-Guest" wireless network. Open a Web browser and follow the on-screen prompts to get Internet access. Guests must have a phone number capable of receiving text messages in order to register (carrier text message rates may apply). RIT guest access prohibits access to some internal RIT network resources. Students, employees, and others with RIT computer accounts should continue to use the encrypted RIT wireless network. If you have any questions about guest wireless at RIT, please contact the RIT Service Center at or 585-475-5000.