21st Century Leader Award Recipients on Stage at Commencement Ceremony

21st Century Leader Award

Call for Nominations

The University of Massachusetts Amherst seeks nominations of undergraduate seniors for the 21st Century Leaders Award. 

This award recognizes the strong academic record and exemplary achievement of undergraduate students who further distinguished their intellectual accomplishments, and enhanced the reputation of the University by contributing to the campus community in one or more of the following ways: 

  • Demonstrating strong leadership qualities, characterized by the ability to unite and inspire others toward positive action 
  • Expanding the intellectual climate of their academic area through noteworthy original research, design or creativity 
  • Markedly improving the quality of life for others through community service, either internal to the University or beyond the borders of our campus 
  • Demonstrating a commitment to social justice and social progress by embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Advancing the teaching mission of the University as an exceptional undergraduate teaching assistant whose efforts continually motivate others to learn 
  • Exemplifying perseverance and courage by overcoming extraordinary personal obstacles through resolve and a determination to excel 
  • Participating in the demands of public presentations, either by exhibiting a truly inspiring caliber of artistic talent, through creation or performance, or by excelling in the competitive demands of athleticism 

Successful nominees will be characterized by their determination to fulfill their academic potential and achieve personal goals. They will be exemplars within the undergraduate community, having demonstrated intelligence, integrity, discipline, courage, compassion, and a sense of humor. They will be recognized for this high academic performance, and for the prestige and honor they bring to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, both as undergraduates and as alumni joining the larger community. 

Up to ten graduating seniors will be awarded the 21st Century Leaders Award. Recipients will receive an award of $1,000 from the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. 

Nomination Deadline EXTENDED: Friday, March 3, 2023 at midnight. 

Nomination & Selection Process

Nominators, please complete the form below and email it, along with a nomination letter describing the actions, characteristics, or other distinctive qualities this individual has demonstrated through their exemplary academic career, making these intellectual achievements further distinguishable and highly laudable to the 21st Century Leader Selection Committee via email at urevents@umass.edu.

The deadline for nominating students for this award has been extended to Friday, March 3, 2023. Nomination letters must be from an on-campus member of faculty, staff, or graduate student and accompanied by a signed nomination form for consideration.

The Office of External Relations and University Events, which coordinates this award, will contact the student nominee after the on-campus nomination letter has been received to obtain the remaining documentation by Friday, March 10, 2023. 

A selection committee made up of representatives from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Campus Life, and the UMass Amherst Alumni Association will select up to ten undergraduate students that collectively represent the class to be recognized during Commencement. 

If you have questions, please contact the Office of External Relations and University Events with questions at urevents@umass.edu.

Past Recipients

Read about last year's ten outstanding undergraduate students who were recognized as 21st Century Leaders here.