Donald A. Gifford Alumni Service Award

Criteria and Award Selection Information

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The Donald A. Gifford Alumni Service award is to recognize an alumnus who has rendered distinguished service to the University of South Florida and the community. This award has been presented annually since 1991 and was renamed the Donald A. Gifford Alumni Service Award in 2000 in memory of past USF Alumni Association and USF Foundation President Donald Gifford.


  • Only living alumni (completed at least one class at USF) are eligible. 
  • Members of the Awards Committee (hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”), as well as members of the USF Alumni Association Board of Directors and their immediate family members, are not eligible to be selected or receive the award during their period of service. 
  • Individuals who are campaigning for elected political office are not eligible for the award if the election takes place within 12 months of the USF Alumni Association’s Awards Committee’s selection meeting.
  • Attendance at the awards presentation is mandatory. The only allowed exception is if the selected individual passes away between the time of award selection and the awards presentation ceremony.

Method of Nomination

A formal call for nominations will be sent out several months prior to the awards presentation via various announcements on the USF Alumni Association website, press releases, Alumni Association publications, letters/emails to the Deans, Development Officers, alumni groups and USF administration.

Nomination forms, along with support materials, must be submitted by the specified deadline in order to be considered for that award year.

The Committee will make its decision at least three months prior to the presentation of the award. 

Selection Committee

Members of the Committee shall be as prescribed in USF Alumni Association’s policies and procedures.

Factors to be considered

The intent of the award is to recognize University of South Florida alumni who have rendered distinguished service to USF and the community over an extended period of time.

Political success alone shall not be considered as a measure of service. Philanthropic support of the University of South Florida is a factor to consider, but it is not to be considered the sole justification for selection.

Consideration of University of South Florida employees may be given, provided there is a distinction made between the duties that lie within the employee’s job responsibilities and service that is above and beyond the employee’s job description. 

Method of Selection

The Committee chair will present the Committee with an appropriate number of names from the pool to be considered each year. 
Names submitted stay in the pool for three years for consideration. At the end of three years, the original nominator is notified and provided the option to re-nominate the individual for another three-year period.

Number of Recipients

The Committee shall present one award per year. However, the Committee has the right, under special circumstances, to present more than one award.

Award Description

  • Announcements in Alumni Association and University publications, press releases, Alumni website, etc. 
  • Complimentary USF Awards reception for recipient and one guest 
  • Professionally framed citation and engraved statue 
  • Complimentary admission for recipient and one guest at Homecoming pre-parade party 
  • Participation on the Alumni Association float in the campus Homecoming parade 
  • Complimentary ticket for recipient and guest for Homecoming football game 
  • Recognition on the field and video board during Homecoming football game 
  • Optional campus tours, speaking engagements