Formal recognition helps define and celebrate career successes  

Awards and formal recognition support UCalgary’s strategic goals and lets all employees know that their hard work is valued. This type of recognition works with individuals, or groups and teams.

The University of Calgary recognizes the importance of thanking our employees for the great everyday contributions they make. UCalgary supports a number of different formal programs based on the university’s mission and core values.

Award and Formal Recognition Opportunities

In an effort to review existing programs, as well as explore potential programs, the U Make a Difference Award is currently on hold. Once we have more information on what this program will look like, Total Rewards will communicate to the campus community. Thank you for your interest in recognition. If you have any questions, please contact

The 'U Make a Difference' award program recognizes individuals and teams who exemplify excellence and the ability to reach above and beyond the expected to "Make a Difference" in our university community. 

The awards acknowledge that outstanding contributions to the university's vision can take many different forms and they provide all members of the university community the opportunity to formally recognize each other's efforts and contributions throughout the year. These awards are an important aspect of the university's culture of recognition.

The University of Calgary recognizes the importance of thanking our employees for the great contributions they make. Whether it's going above and beyond expectations or supporting a team member, they make a difference in our commitment to our students, staff and overall campus community. This program acknowledges the dedication of faculty and staff who have reached a service milestone of 15 or 25 years. 

Eligibility for long service recognition is determined by the service award date in PeopleSoft, however, does not allow for breaks in service and may differ from a pension or union seniority date.

The University of Calgary Teaching Awards program recognizes teaching excellence by individuals and groups, in diverse learning contents, and through curriculum design, educational leadership, and experiential learning. It is a distinguished honour for a member of our university community.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to nominate individuals and groups who make outstanding contributions to enriching the quality and breadth of learning.

The award was developed in 1994 as a result of a suggestion which came forward from Senate. The Chancellor at the time was David Smith was instrumental in bringing forward this idea to the university. 

The Order of the University of Calgary honours recipients who have a record of exemplary and distinguished service to the university. It is available to any current or past member of the university community, it includes, but are not limited to, current or former faculty, staff, alumni, and volunteers.

University of Calgary International recognizes the outstanding contributions of students, faculty, staff and community members in progressing our institutional commitment to excellence and leadership in internationalization, a mission that all campus community members contribute through their work.

Six Internationalization Achievement Award categories are available to honour and recognize the impact made by these everyday heroes to the goals of our International Strategy. The categories are:

  • International Program Award (1 award)
  • Community Member Award (1 award)
  • Academic Staff Awards (2 awards)
  • Staff Awards (2 awards)
  • Student Awards (4 awards)
  • Career Achievement Award (2 awards)

Arch Awards represents the highest honour given by the University of Calgary Alumni Association. There are three annual Arch Awards:

  • Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award
  • Future Alumni Award

Annual Reception is held each fall for the University of Calgary employees who have reached 15 or more years of service and for those who have retired from the University of Calgary.

The annual University of Calgary Sustainability Awards recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions and cooperative efforts of students, faculty, and staff in advancing our institutional commitment to excellence and leadership in sustainability.

Nominations are completed by students, staff and faculty to recognize individuals or groups that are contributing to research and education for sustainability, leading the way in daily campus activities, and/or advancing the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of sustainability in the governance and operations practices of our institution.

Since 2014, the Risk portfolio has been hosting Safety and Wellness Week to highlight the importance of building a positive health and safety culture on campus. Safety and Wellness Week is for all students, faculty, and staff and included activities each day highlighting the various Risk teams.

The week kicks off with the Risk Shining Stars Recognition Event, where nominated individuals were recognized for their outstanding contribution to risk programs at the university.

The Shining Stars program was set up by the Environment, Health and Safety department in 2013 to recognize individuals who display leadership and commitment in supporting health and safety across campus. The program was expanded to the Risk Shining Stars in 2015 to acknowledge individuals who help support the work of the entire Risk portfolio in ensuring the University of Calgary is a safe and healthy place to live, work, and study. It is an informal process whereby Risk staff nominate individuals who have:

  • demonstrated leadership in promotion of Risk services, events and initiatives
  • gone “above and beyond” in promoting the work of the Risk portfolio (with examples)
  • initiated new processes or procedures to ensure the promotion, compliance, and adherence to various Risk policies and OHSMS
  • voluntarily taken on new responsibilities in support of Risk processes and/or initiatives. 

The nominations come from Risk front line staff who send their nominations to the Risk Leadership for their approval. Only individuals external to the Risk portfolio are considered for nomination.

Each year in February, the Cumming School of Medicine celebrates achievements in teaching and research ranging from early career awards and community honours, to Royal Society of Canada Fellowships and Orders of Canada with the Celebration of Excellence

The Awards and Recognition Committee was established in 2008 and has the principal mandate of identifying and coordinating the nomination of individuals for external awards and, of course, celebrating their success.

In accordance with the Eyes High goal of becoming one of the top five research universities in Canada, the Faculty of Arts Awards recognize excellence in a number of areas among the colleagues and staff in the faculty. 

The Faculty of Arts Awards are presented annually for outstanding achievements to faculty and staff within the Faculty of Arts in research, teaching, internationalization, and staff excellence.

Nominated by peers, the U Make a Difference to Kinesiology award recognizes and celebrates faculty and staff who consistently have demonstrated excellence above and beyond their normal responsibilities.

The Covenant Health Faculty of Nursing Awards Program is an initiative of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing to recognize leadership, excellence, and teamwork within our community of students, faculty, staff and alumni. 

The Faculty of Nursing is pleased to partner with Covenant Health, Canada's largest Catholic provider of health care, on this venture. 

The three ways in which the Faculty of Science recognizes excellence are:

  • The Dean's List, which acknowledges and awards students who have achieved outstanding academic standing;
  • The Faculty Excellence Awards, which acknowledges faculty contributions;
  • The Support and Research Staff Excellence Awards, which celebrates and recognizes all the hard work and dedication support and research staff make to the Faculty of Science. 

Every year in June, the Faculty of Social Work celebrates excellence in the Faculty’s areas of strategic importance to teaching and learning. Four awards are presented to those who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, and two non-academic staff members are awarded for supporting students’ learning experiences.

Every two years the Dean provides awards to recognize exceptional achievements in teaching, research, and service.They are one of many ways in which the Haskayne School of Business encourages its faculty and staff to exceed expectations and help make the school a leader in excellence.

Academic Awards

Ten Academic awards are given annually by the Werklund School of Education to recognize excellence of their Academic staff.

Support Staff Awards

Werklund support staff play a significant role in fulfilling the School's mission. Each year, individuals who exhibit excellence in their contributions to the Werklund School of Education are recognized and rewarded.

Tell Us About New or Local Awards

We strive to include all formal recognition opportunities at UCalgary on the list above. If you have information about new or local formal recognition events, email details to