UWPIAA Awards and the Nomination Process
Each year at reunion, the UWPIAA recognizes alumni who continue to embrace the mission of Up with People in their everyday lives in a special way. Nominees can include anyone who participated in any capacity of the UWP program since its inception in the summer of 1965. Award nominations for Reunion 2018 are due by March 31, 2018.
Descriptions & qualifications for our awards, and details for submitting a nomination are below.
The J. Blanton Belk Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award
J. Blanton Belk’s vision and ideals have impacted more than 22,000 alumni and millions of people around the globe. Alumni considered for this award are those who have made an exceptional contribution to humankind by carrying forward the ideals of Up with People.
The nominating committee awards one J. Blanton Belk Award annually to an individual, chosen from all alumni, including previous Everyday Hero Award honorees. Past J. Blanton Belk Award honorees have sacrificed economic and/or personal security to serve others. Examples of past honorees’ contributions to the betterment of the world include: working within an existing NGO (non-government organization); creating, launching, and leading an organization (even temporary) that makes a positive difference in the world; making an ongoing compassionate contribution; volunteering a substantial amount of time to help those in need; inspiring, teaching or challenging others through his/her passion, leadership and vision; and, overcoming great personal barriers or tragedy to persevere as a model of courage and involvement.
The James E. MacLennan Everyday Hero Award
When Up with People was still in its infancy, James E. MacLennan was the Chief Operating Officer, Financial Officer and all-around support person for founder J. Blanton Belk’s vision. Jim and his wife Carol were two of the original cast directors, and Jim enjoyed a long, successful career with Up with People until his retirement. More than one Every Day Hero Award can be awarded at each reunion.
In previous years, the nominating committee selected alumni who have: served others steadily with countless small, yet effective acts of kindness and time commitment; founded, been involved in, or led community service projects; and/or responded to domestic or foreign emergencies or other human misery.
Outstanding Cast Representative
Since 2010, the UWPIAA Board of Governors has recognized those alumni who serve as Cast Representatives and provide extraordinary service to both their casts and the alumni body as a whole. Their work is evident as they deliver high percentage turnouts at each reunion year, yet do much more than just getting their cast to reunion. They also sacrifice long hours and resources to keep their casts connected and informed all year-round. This award recognizes a person who has served as a Cast Representative for at least two reunion years (including the current year), whose cast consistently competes for the reunion’s highest percentage attendance honor, and who consistently keeps their cast connected during non-reunion years.
Additional consideration will be given to those Cast Representatives who support either Up with People, the UWPIAA, their programs and missions (through volunteer work and/or fundraising), and who organize mini-reunions during non-reunion years.
The nomination form is made available each January for awards to be bestowed at the reunion of the same calendar year. The form and supporting documents must be submitted to the awards committee by the published deadline.
Please include as many specifics as possible to support your nomination, such as articles, letters, writings, videos, photos or anything else you feel would help us know this individual. Nominees may be endorsed by multiple alumni. While it is okay for non-alumni to participate in the nomination process, (particularly the J. Blanton Belk and Everyday Hero awards), the actual nomination must come from an alumnus.
J. Blanton Belk Outstanding Alumnus nominees may also be considered for the James E. MacLennan Everyday Hero Award, but it must be a reunion year for the nominee if you would like us to consider this option.
The Awards Committee is comprised of alumni from different eras and regions. The committee reviews all nominations and makes a recommendation to the UWPIAA Board of Governors. Nominators will be contacted if additional documentation is needed.
Need more information? Please use our contact form if you have additional questions for the Awards Committee Chair or would like to inquire about serving on the Awards Committee.