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Pillar Awards

Students in the Honors College excel in a variety of areas both in and outside of the classroom as they engage in endeavors that embody the values of our curriculum. To recognize those students who have achieved above and beyond their peers or who demonstrate great promise of excellence, the Honors College annually bestows the Pillar Awards, a recognition of student work in each of the four pillars of our curriculum: Interdisciplinary Academics, Undergraduate Research, Leadership, and Community and Global Engagement.

2021 Recipients

Outstanding Seniors


Third-Year Awards


Second-Year Awards


About the Awards

Interdisciplinary Academics

Interdisciplinarity is the pursuit of knowledge by means of more than one discipline or field of study, especially in an attempt to understand complex problems. Pursuing interdisciplinary academics can mean taking classes or engaging in extracurricular activities outside your disciplinary home, but at its highest levels it entails breaking down or breaking through the traditional “silos” of these academic disciplines to reach across fields, modes of thought, or communities of practice to find novel ways to think, create, and thrive.

Undergraduate Research

Research is the production of new knowledge by means of scholarly inquiry, including creative pursuits. It requires dedication to answering questions that matter to individuals, communities and the world; strong reasoning, organizational, and interpersonal skills; an understanding of and commitment to research ethics; and follow-through to ensure that results are disseminated and shared with other scholars and the public.

Leadership Development

Leadership is the utilization of your best academic, professional, and personal qualities to empower others, build community, forward knowledge, and/or achieve collective goals. Great and effective leaders demonstrate vision, self-direction, empathy and openness, inclusion, strong collaboration skills, and a willingness to learn and evolve as they adapt to changing contexts or new information.

Community and Global Engagement

Community is a concept that goes to the very heart of the Honors College experience—we are the only residential college on Purdue’s campus. The Honors College values global citizenship and cross-cultural exchanges between communities (domestic or international) that are different. Moreover, we recognize the importance of experiences that take place beyond classroom when students engage in local or global communities civically or as participants in study aways or research. Engagement in these experiences at the local level (Honors College, campus, and/or the Greater Lafayette area) or abroad expands one’s worldview and fosters complex understandings of the interconnectedness of our lives and communities as well as the nature of these relationships.

Apply for an Honors College Student Pillar Award!

To recognize the great strides that our students make in each of these areas, each year the Student Pillar Awards will honor:

  • One 2nd and one 3rd year student who excel in Interdisciplinary Academics
  • One 2nd and one 3rd year student who excel in Undergraduate Research
  • One 2nd and one 3rd year student who excel in Leadership Development
  • One 2nd and one 3rd year student who excel in Community & Global Experiences
  • Two graduating seniors who embody all four pillars of an Honors Education

We invite you to apply for the Student Pillar Awards by filling out an application here*.

Please note that the application is a SharePoint site and works best using Firefox and BOILERAD\username (on Windows) or username@boilerad.purdue.edu (on Mac) as the login.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2021.