Distinguished Service Award Guidelines

(Updated February 2024)


The University Council Executive Committee inaugurated the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) in 1974 to recognize exemplary service to Queen’s University. Each year the University Council Executive Committee invites nominations for up to six DSAs. The award consists of a framed certificate and special recognition at the Distinguished Service Awards Reception. Nomination materials, commemorative professional photographs, and a personalized citation are also provided to the recipient following the awards reception.

Selection Criteria

The Executive Committee will take into consideration many factors, including the nominee’s impact on the University as a whole and length of service. Past DSA recipients have typically had an average service length of 15 years or more and demonstrated great influence beyond their respective titular position, however nominations with shorter periods of outstanding service will still be considered.

A strong nomination will demonstrate:

  • Breadth of impact
  • Contributions above and beyond what would normally be expected in the nominee's primary role relating to the University
  • Contributions to the University’s success as a whole
  • Length of service to the University
  • Support from a broad range of persons associated with the Queen’s Community.

Nominators are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible. The nomination should include specific examples and supporting evidence that details the nominee’s exceptional qualities and their history of exemplary service to Queen’s. Prospective nominators are discouraged from including normal job responsibilities and/or experiences.

The Executive Committee recognizes the contributions of all individuals associated with the University and prospective nominators should not be discouraged if their nominee does not suitably fit within the criteria for a DSA. The university has many awards designed to recognize the students, staff, faculty members and alumni making a difference both on and off campus. Prospective nominators are encouraged to explore alternate routes to recognize their nominee, including awards listed here

Nomination Guidelines

Queen’s faculty, staff, students, retirees, members (elected, appointed, ex officio or honorary) of the Council, the Queen's Alumni Association,and the Board of Trustees are invited to nominate candidates for a Queen’s Distinguished Service Award.

Joint, group and posthumous nominations will not be considered. In the event that a nominee dies before or during the selection period, the nomination will still be considered as long as it was received by the deadline.

If prospective nominators are aware of other individuals nominating their nominee, the Executive Committee encourages collaboration. Multiple nominations of individuals will be considered as a single nomination, and those receiving more than one nomination will not be given added weight during the selection process.

Nomination Process

Deadline: Friday, April 26, 2024 at 4:00 pm ET

To ensure fairness and consistency, a nomination package must include:

  • The Nomination Form (click here to open the online form);
  • Summary of Nomination (pages 2 and 3 of the Nomination Form). This summary will provide comprehensive and detailed information about the person’s contributions to Queen’s and may be completed in point form.
  • A minimum of five (5) and maximum of eight (8) signed nomination letters (max. 2 pages per letter) from the nominator and individuals familiar with the nominee's accomplishments and who are Queen’s faculty, staff, students, retirees, members (elected, appointed, ex officio or honorary) of the Council, the Board of Trustees, and the Queen's Alumni Association. Letters may be co-signed by multiple individuals. The lead nominator is responsible for collecting these letters. These letters must be compiled into a single PDF package and uploaded to the online nomination form (linked above).
  • If you experience any difficulties using the online form, please contact the University Secretariat ucouncil@queensu.ca.

NOTE: If you would like to review the Nomination Form in advance of completing the online form, a PDF version can be viewed here. This form is provided for information only. Nominations must be submitted using the online form.

Selection Process

The University Council Executive Committee will review all nominations and all nominations will be kept in confidence by the University Secretariat. Recipients will be informed immediately after the completion of the selection process. In the event a nomination is not successful, the lead nominator will be informed immediately following the selection process. Unsuccessful nominations may be carried forward to the next year, at the discretion of the lead nominator.

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