Leadership and Excellence Awards

Students posing with award certificates

Leadership and Excellence Awards recognize the significant contributions of Columbia College and Columbia Engineering students to the Columbia community.

Awards are presented near the end of the spring term, across eight categories, to up to 10 individuals per category.

Award Categories and Descriptions

Principled Action
This award recognizes students who have demonstrated ethical decision-making and sound moral judgment, as well as fostering and encouraging similar actions from others.

Civic Responsibility
Recipients of this award best promote civic engagement, responsible citizenship, and global citizenship. This includes both on-campus and off-campus activities, initiatives, and service.

Inclusion & Advocacy
This award recognizes students who have promoted social justice and/or fostered understanding between diverse constituencies through valuing diversity and appreciating multiple identities.

Columbia Spirit
Recipients of this award capture and display the best of Columbia spirit. This includes the essence of 'school spirit' and pride as a dedicated member of our community, as well as leaders and groups that contribute to local, regional, and national recognition for sports, performance, cultural and arts activities, and academic competition.

Health & Wellness
Recipients of this award best exemplify the spirit of caring for and about the members of our vast and diverse community. A special focus is placed on the individual/group’s ability to establish an example for a healthy balance of responsibilities, duties, and activities through their own leadership.

Indelible Mark
This award recognizes the accomplishments of students and groups in implementing sustainable change for the benefit of our community and/or in leaving a lasting impression on the campus community.

Community Building
Recipients of this award have worked to create, establish, or strengthen a particular community at Columbia. This could be accomplished through, but is not limited to: relationship building, programming, shared goals or purpose, or creating a vision for the future.

Emerging Leader
Recipients of this award have demonstrated a commitment to leadership and service early in their Columbia journey. Emphasis is placed on students who have taken on advanced responsibility, supported their community as a peer-leader, or otherwise excelled before it was expected of them. While seniors may be considered, the focus of this award is on first-years, sophomores, and juniors.

Undergraduate Student Life


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