Explore the Award
U of T's Most Distinguished Awards Program
Throughout its rich history, the University of Toronto has striven to promote and recognize excellence among its community members. The University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) has played an integral role in furthering this mission through its longstanding support of distinguished awards programs that acknowledge outstanding faculty, staff, and students.
The prestigious Awards of Excellence program dates back to 1921 with the creation of the John H. Moss Scholarship, awarded to outstanding student leaders. In 1990 the Faculty Award and the Chancellor’s Award were added to the program. Since 1990, seven more distinct awards or scholarships recognizing exceptional students, faculty, and administrative staff members of the University have been launched; most recently, the Jill Matus Award for Excellence in Student Services.
Though the criteria differ for each award, recipients all share a commitment to enhancing the university experience of their peers and leave a significant impact on the University through their efforts.
Congratulations to the 2021 Awards of Excellence Recipients!
The University of Toronto congratulates this year’s outstanding winners of the Awards of Excellence—incredible and inspiring faculty members, staff members and students who make the University, and often the world, a better place.
In this short video, University of Toronto President Meric Gertler offers his personal congratulations to the Awards of Excellence honourees. Celebrating their resilience, leadership and courage, he thanks them for their inspirational impact—and the UTAA for recognizing their excellence.
Awards of Excellence winners in the news
Samra Zafar (BSc 2013 UTM, MA 2014) won the John H. Moss Scholarship after a heroic struggle to access education. Now the founder of a successful nonprofit that helps others, and an author whose novel is being adapted for TV, she’s never stopped giving back, and U of T Mississauga has named her Outstanding Young Alum of 2021. Congratulations!
Awards of Excellence for Students
Awards of Excellence scholarship recipients and award recipients are the leaders of their classes. Academically, they take advantage of the quality and breadth of learning and research opportunities provided by the University. Through leadership in athletics, student government, clubs and student groups, in addition to many leadership roles outside the university, they enhance the experiences of their peers by contributing to the development of diverse and strong student communities.
Two prizes of $1,500 each are presented annually to recognize two individuals—one influential leader and one emerging leader—who have consistently made positive and lasting contributions in the areas of scholarship, service to others, and / or action against discrimination.
Each faculty and staff member honoured through the Awards of Excellence reflects the University’s vision of becoming a leader among the world’s best public teaching and research universities – in discovery, preservation and sharing of knowledge through its teaching and research, and in commitment to excellence and equity. Award recipients provide students with academically challenging and exciting, well-taught programs, ensure that the university community is sensitive to the diversity of its population and share their discovery and knowledge through public stewardship.
Up to two $1,200 awards given to administrative staff members who demonstrate excellence in the area of student life and student services, and whose contributions specifically go beyond the parameters and duties of their daily jobs.
Two prizes of $1,500 each recognizing positive and lasting contributions to education and action in the fight against discrimination. Faculty, staff, and students may be nominated for this award.
An award of up to $2,500 given to a faculty member who has served the university with distinction in multiple leadership capacities, including committees, governance bodies and external organizations complementary to the university’s academic mission.