Planning Distinguished Alumni Award

Overview and Selection Process

The ECU Planning Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the outstanding contributions of graduates from the ECU Community and Regional Planning Program. It recognizes alumni for their outstanding achievements to the planning profession, service to society or the ECU planning program. This award is a continuation of the ECU Planning Alumnus of the Year initiatives in 1990s. Prior recipients include Watson Brown, Mark Tipton, Dale Holland, Mark Garner, and Joe Durham.

Who is Eligible for the Award?

Nominees must be graduates of the ECU Community and Regional Planning Program (or its predecessor academic designations). ECU graduates with a minor in planning are also eligible. Nominees will be considered eligible ten (10) years post-graduation from the programs as outlined in this paragraph.

Criteria for Selection:

Nominees for the ECU Planning Distinguished Alumni are evaluated on accomplishments reflecting the ECU Planning Program’s mission of excellence in one or more of the following three areas.

  • Professional Achievement & Career Distinction Nominees should have accomplished prominence through their efforts in the industry, government, education, their chosen profession, or other admirable undertakings that reflect positively on the ECU Community and Regional Planning Program.
  • Service to Society Nominees should have demonstrated integrity and a commitment to service by bettering the lives of others through volunteer efforts, including civic, military, and professional service, or work with charitable organizations.
  • Service to and Support of the ECU Community and Regional Planning Program Nominees’ actions and accomplishments should reflect the importance of their educational training and pride in their alma mater, as noted through their interest in and support of the Community and Regional Planning Program and the university.

The Nomination Process:

Step 1:  To nominate an alumnus or an alumna for this award, complete a nomination form (self-nominations are accepted).

Step 2:  The nominee will then be required to submit an application and be responsible for ensuring that the application is complete and accurate. Once the deadline has passed, no additional or corrected materials will be accepted.

Components of a Nomination Package:

The ECU Planning Distinguished Alumni Award application form must be completed in full. This application summarizes the Nominees’ worthiness for being recognized, contact information, education, professional affiliations, civic affiliations, awards/honors received, summary accomplishments in one or more focus areas (professional achievement & career distinction, service to society, service to and support of the ECU Community and Regional Planning Program), description of most significant accomplishments, and other information related to influences, goals, etc.

Nomination Packages Must Include:

  • Three letters of support from individuals with specific knowledge of the nominee’s accomplishments and character. Each letter of support must not exceed one page and should address a nominee’s accomplishments in one or more areas used as selection criteria. Nominees may be consulted to ensure the completeness of their nomination packages, as well as to advise on suitable authors for letters of support.
  • A resume or full curriculum vitae.

OPTIONAL: Additional items, such as news articles, may also be included in the package as long as the total page number is not exceeded.

Nomination packages should be submitted by the deadline established by the ECU Community and Regional Planning Program.

Submittal Process:

Applications submitted by January 31st of each year will be considered for the spring Student Planners’ Action Network (SPAN) banquet in the following year.

The complete application package should be submitted online through the ECU Community and Regional Planning Program website.

Applications should include (maximum 8 pages of attachments):

The Selection Process:

All nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of:

  • two members of the Community and Regional Planning Program Alumni Advisory Board (one will serve as chair),
  • one member of the Student Planners’ Action Network (SPAN), and
  • two faculty members, including the Director of the ECU Community and Regional Planning Program.

Selection committee members may write letters of support for nomination packets, however, an individual may not serve on the selection committee if they have made a formal nomination or been nominated in the current award cycle. Efforts will be made to retain at least one committee member from the previous year to provide continuity in the selection process. The selection committee will recommend a maximum of five (5) nominees to the ECU Planning Program Alumni Advisory Board, who will select the honorees for the year.

All information contained in nomination packages, as well as all selection committee discussions, will be kept strictly confidential to protect the integrity of the process.

A maximum of five recipients of extraordinary merit may be selected each year. If a posthumous award is recommended, the recipient will be considered separately from the group of five.

Nomination packages for those not selected will be retained for consideration in the year following their initial nomination only if a new one-page Nominator letter is submitted, together with one additional one-page letter of support. An updated curriculum vita may be submitted, but the Nominator’s letter should draw attention to significant additional information.

Review and Award Deadlines:

  • Nominations received – December 31
  • Applications received – January 31
  • Selection committee review – by mid-February
  • ECU Planning Program Alumni Advisory Board review – at first quarter meeting
  • Nominee’s contacted – immediately after Alumni Advisory Board decision
  • Spring Banquet – Typically held in March or April. Award recipients are expected to attend.