Office of Student Life

Student Activities

Leadership Awards

Recipients on stage at Leadership Awards















Over the past 50 years, The Ohio State University has recognized hundreds of students, advisors and organizations who demonstrate leadership, collaboration and a commitment to the Ohio State community. Along with generous support from Coca-Cola, the Ohio State Leadership Awards are sponsored by the Office of Student Life. The 2017 ceremony will be Friday April 21 from 3:00pm - 4:30pm at the Fawcett Center. The Outstanding Senior Dinner will also be Friday April 21 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. 

Who is Eligible for Ohio State Leadership Awards?

Any Ohio State student, faculty or staff member is eligible. You do not need to hold a formal title or leadership position in order to be recognized. Leadership Award judges focus more on learning, attitudes, action, and accomplishments than on previous awards or titles. In some cases, an award may be designed for specific students, faculty, or staff (example: Outstanding First Year, or Outstanding Advisor).

How to Apply for 2017 Leadership Awards

Applications for the 2017 Leadership Awards are now closed. Information about the 2018 Leadership Awards will be available in November.

Please review all award descriptions before applying. 2017 Leadership Award Descriptions

Leadership Awards Individual Winner

Edward S. "Beanie" Drake Scholarship

In addition to the Ohio State Leadership Awards, students are encouraged to apply for the Edward S. "Beanie" Drake Scholarship. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide funds that enable deserving students to participate in campus activities when need might otherwise make it impossible for them to do so. There will be awarded multiple scholarships at a minimum of $2,500 divided over 2 semesters. To learn more and submit a scholarship application, visit the Edward S. "Beanie" Drake Scholarship page.

Nominations, Applications, and Recommendations

The terms "encourage, apply, nominate, and recommend" have specific meanings in reference to the Leadership Awards process.

  • Encourage - Any student, faculty, or staff member can encourage a student or student organization to apply for an award. The Student Activities staff will review these notes of encouragement (which can be anonymous), and share with the relevant student/student organization.
  • Apply - Some awards require a student or student organization to apply in order to be officially considered for the award. If an award is "application-based" then the individual student or student organization must submit application materials on their own behalf. Examples of these awards include the Outstanding First Year, Outstanding Senior, Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student, Outstanding Student Organization, etc. Please review the 2017 Leadership Award Descriptions for a full list of "application-based" awards.
  • Nominate - Some awards require a different student, faculty, or staff member to submit a nomination on the recipient's behalf. Students, faculty, or staff cannot nominate themselves for these awards. Examples of these awards include the Spirit of Ohio State Award, Outstanding Student Employee, Outstanding New Member, etc. Please review the 2017 Leadership Award Descriptions for a full list of "nomination-based" awards.
  • Recommendations - Some awards require a letter of recommendation from an Ohio State faculty or staff member. Only one (1) letter of recommendation will be accepted per student, per award. In the event that multiple letters are received, judges will only review the first letter submitted. Letters of recommendation should be no longer than 3,500 characters (roughly 750 words). Please review the 2017 Leadership Award Descriptions to see if your award requires a letter of recommendation. Once you submit your application, the system will provide a unique link to send to your faculty/staff recommender. Please share this link with the individual writing your letter of recommendation, and give them enough time to submit the recommendation before the February 6, 2017 deadline. Letters of recommendation must match submitted applications. Recommenders will not be permitted to submit their letter until the matching student application has been submitted. Because authors cannot submit their letters until after the student has submitted an application, we encourage authors to write their letter in a word processor first, and then copy/paste the text to the webform after the student has submitted their application.

We strongly suggest that you write all essay responses in a word processor before copy/pasting to the web form. If the web form is open too long, you will be timed-out and your submission will not be recorded. You will receive a confirmation email after submitting your application that verfies you have successfully applied or submitted a nomination/letter of recommendation. If you don't receive a confirmation email, your application/recommendation did not successfully save! If you wish to confirm that your materials have been received, please email Matt Van Jura at Late materials will not be accepted.

The 2017 Ohio State Leadership Awards ceremony will be held on Friday April 21st, 2017.

Senior Medals

Annual Awards Given

  • Outstanding First-Year Student Award (application and letter of recommendation)
  • Outstanding Senior Award (application and letter of recommendation)
  • Outstanding Graduate/Professional Student Award (application and letter of recommendation)
  • Student Life Outstanding Student Employee Award (nomination)
  • Spirit of Ohio State Award - Individual (nomination)
  • Spirit of Ohio State Award - Organization (nomination)
  • Kaplan Humanitarian Award (application and letter of recommendation)
  • Stanley D. Gottsegen Leadership Award (application)
  • Outstanding Student Organization - Overall Organization (application)
  • Outstanding Student Organization - New Organization (application)
  • Student Organization Awards: Excellence in Citizenship, Operations, Innovation & Change, Values & Purpose (application)
  • Student Organization Individual Contribution Awards: New Member, General Member, Positional Leader, and Advisor (nomination)
  • Student Life's Multicultural Center - Diversity Engagement Award (application)
  • Student Life's Multicultural Center - Outstanding Diversity Program (application)
  • Scarlet, Gray, and Green Student Leadership Award - sponsored by Energy Management & Sustainability (application)
  • Student Life Student Employee Award (nomination)
  • Student Life Outstanding Student Supervisor (nomination)

Past Leadership Award Recipients

Click here to view a comprehensive list of all past Leadership Award recipients: Leadership Awards All Years - 2016

With questions, or for more information, please contact Matt Van Jura at