Alumni Awards

UC Santa Cruz recognizes and honors alumni who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements, made distinct contributions to society, provided impactful contributions to UC Santa Cruz, and who have embodied the values and spirit of the university.

Nominations for this year’s alumni awards opened May 19, 2023 and closed June 12, 2023. We received many incredible nominations for the four prestigious alumni awards. If you are interested in nominating someone for the 2024 program, the registration form will reopen January 1, 2024.

Fiat Lux Award

The Fiat Lux Award honors alumni and friends of UC Santa Cruz who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and distinguished service in support of the University’s programs and goals. Previous Fiat Lux Award recipients


  • Provided distinguished service to UC Santa Cruz through public service, campaign leadership and support, making an indelible impact on UCSC, or serving as a long standing advocate and supporter of UCSC.
  • Displayed exceptional dedication to UC Santa Cruz, its students, faculty, staff, or alumni.
  • Accomplished an outstanding achievement that elevates UCSC’s reputation.
  • Not a current UCSC faculty or staff member.

Alumni Achievement Award 

The Alumni Achievement Award is presented to UC Santa Cruz graduates who are renowned for their distinguished professional achievement, leadership, and service to the community. Nominees should demonstrate a positive impact on a local, state, national, or international level. The Alumni Achievement Award is intended to recognize longevity and consistency of accomplishments over one's professional lifetime. Previous Alumni Achievement Award recipients


  • Made distinct contributions to their profession or vocation.
  • Notable achievements recognized in their field.
  • Achieved a reputation for their professional work in their industry.

Outstanding Recent Alumni Award

The Outstanding Recent Alumni Award recognizes UC Santa  Cruz alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years, who are recognized for their notable achievements. This award recognizes recent alumni for their extraordinary professional achievements or contributions to society. This is a new award.


  • At the time of nomination, the alumni graduated within the past 10 years from UCSC (undergraduate, master, or PhD). 
  • Has exceptional achievements in their career.
  • Has made significant contributions to society.
  • Reflects the values and mission of UCSC. 

UCSC Ethos Award

The UC Santa Cruz Ethos Award recognizes UC Santa Cruz alumni whose work and contribution to their community embodies and reflects the ethos of UC Santa Cruz. The Ethos award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to causes of social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, and who exemplify and enrich UCSC’s principles of community. Recipients embody the Banana Slug spirit, expressing it through their work and in their communities. This is a new award.


  • Embraces diversity and strives for inclusive community.
  • Encourages the free exchange of ideas.
  • Committed to serve society and advance knowledge.
  • Displays respect, trust, and support that strengthens their community.
  • Advocates for equitable access, respect, and human dignity.
  • Celebrates others’ heritage, achievements, uniqueness, and contributions.


The award winners have been announced and will be honored at the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Awards Celebration on October 27, 2023. If you would like to join the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Award Celebration to be held in the University Center on October 27, 2023, 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm, Register here.