Make a Gift

Laureates Award

The Laureates Awards Program was created by the Association of Rice Alumni in 1937 to recognize highly distinguished individuals for extraordinary achievements and contributions to their professions, local communities and Rice University. Every year, three major awards celebrate outstanding Rice alumni and friends of the university, including the Meritorious Service Award, the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Gold Medal, the highest possible honor for service to the university.

About the Awards

Nominations are accepted each year for these awards on an ongoing year-round basis, though the committee meets during the fall to determine candidates for the following May. Honorees are announced to the public in late-winter.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Laureates Awards. Nominations must be submitted by September 29, 2017.

Gold Medal

The highest award presented by the Association of Rice Alumni, the Gold Medal recognizes those who have rendered extraordinary service to the university. Each recipient must demonstrate one or more of the following criteria: outstanding service in promoting the ideals of the founders of the university, exceptionally deep dedication to and advancement of the academic excellence of the university, or uncommon generosity of time and means in support of the university. Although preference is given to living nominees, posthumous nominations also are accepted. Submit a nomination for the Gold Medal Award.

Distinguished Alumni Award

This award is presented to alumni who have advanced the interests and standards of excellence of Rice University through distinctive professional or volunteer careers. It is reserved for those who attended the university as an undergraduate or graduate student for a period of at least one year and are living at the time of consideration. No one who has received the Gold Medal may subsequently be awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award. Submit a nomination for the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Meritorious Service Award

This award recognizes those who have made significant, sustained and voluntary contributions of energy, time and creativity toward the advancement of the university. Alumni, active or retired faculty, staff, administrators and friends of Rice who are living at the time of their selection are eligible. No one who has received the Gold Medal may subsequently be awarded the Meritorious Service Award. Submit a nomination for the Meritorious Service Award.

2017 Laureates Awards Honorees


Lynn Laverty Elsenhans ‘78 J. Dennis Huston



Richard A. Chapman ‘54 '55 '57 Mary Lou Sauer Henry ’60, ‘61
William B. Russel ‘69 Gary H. Stern ‘70, '72
James M. Whitehurst ‘89



Sofia Adrogué ‘88 Sandy Havens ‘56
Judy Ley Allen Robert R. Maxfield ’63, ‘64
Rebecca Richards-Kortum


Laureates Nomination Forms

To submit a nomination for one of the three Laureate awards, please use the appropriate form below. Nominations must be submitted by September 29, 2017. 

Selected honorees are announced in early spring and are honored each year at the annual Laureates Dinner on the evening of Commencement. If you have any questions regarding the nominations process, please contact 713-348-4057 or

Watch the 2016 Laureates Videos

Read More

Explore Laureates 2016 on Flickr

Laureates 2016

Back to Top