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Undergraduate Student Life

Leadership Excellence Awards Categories and Descriptions

The King's Crown Leadership Excellence Awards Ceremony, held annually in April, serves to recognize significant contributions of CC/SEAS students to the Columbia community. 
Awards are presented across eight categories to individuals in CC and SEAS. A Certificate of Distinction for Leadership Excellence is awarded to up to ten individuals per category. A select few may also receive a Dean's Award for Leadership Excellence. The award categories and descriptions are as follows:
Principled Action
This award recognizes students who have demonstrated ethical decision-making and sound moral judgment, as well as fostering and encouraging similar actions from others. 
Civic Responsibility
Recipients of this award best promote civic engagement, responsible citizenship, and global citizenship. This includes both on-campus and off-campus activities, initiatives, and service.
Inclusion & Advocacy
This award recognizes students who have promoted social justice and/or fostered understanding between diverse constituencies through valuing diversity and appreciating multiple identities. 
Columbia Spirit
Recipients of this award capture and display the best of Columbia spirit. This includes the essence of 'school spirit' and pride as a dedicated member of our community as well as leaders and groups that contribute to local, regional, and national recognition for sports, performance, cultural and arts activities, and academic competition.

Health & Wellness
Recipients of this award best exemplify the spirit of caring for and about the members of our vast and diverse community. A special focus is placed on the individual/group’s ability to establish an example for a healthy balance of responsibilities, duties, and activities through their own leadership.
Indelible Mark
This award recognizes the accomplishments of students and groups in implementing sustainable change for the benefit of our community and/or in leaving a lasting impression on the campus community.
Innovation & Enhancement
Recipients of this award have created, improved, or enhanced a service, program, or process thus contributing positively to the Columbia campus and its diverse stakeholders.
Community Building
Recipients of this award have worked to create, establish or strengthen a particular community at Columbia University. This could be accomplished through, but not limited to, relationship building, programming, shared goals or purpose, or creating a vision for the future.

Named Awards

Select honorees within the categories listed above may also receive one of the following Named Awards.
Bernard Jaffe Prize for the Encouragement of Inventiveness in Engineering is awarded by the engineering faculty to undergraduate and graduate engineering and applied science students who exhibit exceptional curiosity toward the engineered world and a predisposition toward inventiveness and novel problem solving in both theoretical and physical contexts. Preference is given to students whose endeavors are directed toward the betterment of the human condition, as was the life work of Bernard Jaffe ’38, ’39. The Jaffe Prize is made possible by Fern Jaffe.
Zvi Galil Award for Improvement in Engineering Student Life is a cash prize that honors the engineering-focused student group that most improves engineering student life during the academic year through a commitment to engineering or through integration of engineering with other sectors of the university.
Robert D. Lilley Award for Socially Responsible Engineering  is awarded annually to support the activities of student clubs that have as their primary focus socially responsible engineering, which may include engineering projects in the developing world or in economically and/or socially disadvantaged regions of the United States, campus education efforts that focus on the connection between engineering innovation and betterment of the human condition, and student research projects specifically directed toward socially-responsible engineering practices and solutions in the modern world.
Thomas “Pop” Harrington Medal is awarded to that student in the SEAS graduating class who best exemplifies the qualities of character that Professor Harrington exhibited during his forty years of teaching at the school of Engineering from 1894 to 1935. The Harrington Medal is made possible by a very generous and deeply appreciated gift from Dr. Myron A. Coler, B.S. 1934, Ph.D. 1937.
Richard H. Fox Memorial Prize is awarded to a CC Senior who has shown for the College the greatest interest and helpfulness. The student must have participated in some non-athletic activities and must be one who combines intelligence with a kindly interest in his or her fellows.
Robert Shellow Gerdy Prize is awarded to a CC Senior who throughout the undergraduate years, has made a significant contribution as a member of the staff on one or more College student publications, especially Jester, Columbia Review, and Spectator.
Leonard A. Pullman Memorial Prize is awarded to a CC Senior who displays those qualities of outstanding scholarship and significant service to the College exemplified in the life of Leonard Pullman, Class of 1962. The recipient must occupy a position of responsibility in a non-athletic Columbia College activity. The student’s name is inscribed on a plaque in the student activities center.
Stanley I. Fishel / Zeta Beta Tau Prize is awarded to a CC fraternity member who has demonstrated leadership, academic achievement, and participation in athletics or other campus activities.
James Christopher Caraley Memorial Prize is awarded to a CC Junior who has demonstrated the greatest commitment to the value of preservation of the natural environment.  This prize was established in memory of James Christopher Caraley, 1959– 1979, Class of 1981, by his family and friends.
Robert Harron Award is awarded to a CC Junior for qualities of grace and generosity. The prize was established by his friends in memory of Robert Harron who, in the course of his thirty years of service at Columbia, was Assistant to the President and Director of University Public Relations.
Milch Prize is awarded to a CC Junior who, by leadership in extracurricular as well as scholastic activities, has, in the judgment of instructors and classmates, done the most to enhance the reputation of Columbia College. The prize was established by Dr. and Mrs. Henry Milch.
Van Am Prize is awarded to CC Sophomores most distinguished for service, character, and courtesy in relations with faculty members, fellow students, and visitors. A cash prize is awarded to the student activity of the winner’s choice. The prize was established by the Class of 1898 on the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary.

Undergraduate Student Life


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