Awards & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

The Bernardine of Siena Medal

St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) is the patron of the college. The original name of the college was St. Bernardine of Siena College and the friary is St. Bernardine of Siena Friary. St. Bernardine of Siena was a Franciscan Friar who lived at the end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th centuries. He was a famous preacher who also risked his life to assist victims of the plague. He popularized devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus-thus the emblem of the Holy Name on the seal of the college.  Coincidentally, St. Bernardine's feast day is May 20 which often happens to be the day of Siena's commencement exercises.

About the Award: On February 11, 1999, Siena College’s Board of Trustees authorized the striking of a new medal, the Bernardine of Siena medal.  The Bernardine of Siena Medal is awarded by Siena’s Board of Trustees to individuals whose/who:

  • Personal or professional accomplishments or careers reflect a commitment to the spirit and tradition of St. Francis.

  • Have distinguished themselves by their involvement with or support for Siena College.

  • Have served Siena College over an extended period and whose work has made a significant contribution to sustaining the traditions or raising the profile of Siena College.

Past Recipients:  Photos of Bernardine Medal recipients are on display in the Bernardine Room, a meeting space in the Standish Library.

Honorary Degrees

An Honorary Degree at Siena College is the highest honor the College can bestow on an individual. Honorary Degree Recipients are approved by the Board of Trustees in consultation with the College's president.

Past Recipients

Athletic Hall of Fame

The Siena Athletic Hall of Fame was established in 1964 with the induction of Howard Tucker, '41.  Over the past years, Siena has distinguished their most exceptional athletes and coaches with induction into the Hall of Fame.

Past Recipients

Nominate a Candidate

The Professor Joseph A. Buff Award

The Professor Joseph A. Buff Award is for alumni with outstanding accomplishments or achievements in their careers. Alumni selected for this award might include those who have achieved the following kinds of success:

  • Advancement to the highest-level executive positions in either the public or private sector.
  • Notable creative achievements in the arts field.
  • A significant or decisive role in particular administrative or research breakthroughs, such an alum who is credited for a new scientific development or the reshaping of public policy.
  • Unusual accomplishments in in  fields such as medicine, law, teaching, and politics.
  • The accumulation of exceptional business holdings.

Past Recipients

The Reverend Benjamin Kuhn, O.F.M. Award

The Reverend Benjamin Kuhn, O.F.M. Award for specific contributions to improve the Siena Community.   Examples of these achievements might include:

  • A personal accomplishment in improving relationships between alumni and students or alumni and other members of the Siena Community.
  • Alumni employees of the College who play a role in the development of some aspect of the collegiate life of the College.
  • Extraordinary efforts in the area of college development and fund raising, including those who might periodically make a financial contribution to the College and those alumni who play a particularly significant role in convincing others to contribute to the College.

Past Recipients

The Professor Egon Plager Award

The Professor Egon Plager Award for accomplishments in advancing the welfare of other human beings. Examples of such accomplishments might include:

  • Unusual self-sacrifice and effort by an alumnus in dealing with problems of disadvantaged and/or handicapped.
  • A significant role in the development of public support for particular humanitarian efforts.
  • Continuing noteworthy achievements on a person-to-person basis. Shaping or rehabilitating the skills, social adaptability and/or moral perspective of a client group served directly by an alumnus.

Past Recipients

The Franciscan Spirit Award

The Franciscan Spirit Award is awarded  to  young alumni who demonstrate commitment to service to both Siena and their community, while excelling in their chosen careers.  

Past Recipients*

*Recipients prior to 2014 were based on the following criteria:

The Franciscan Spirit Award for young alumni demonstrating a commitment to advancing the welfare of other human beings.  Examples of such accomplishments might include:

  • Unusual self-sacrifice and effort by an alumnus in dealing with problems of disadvantaged and/or handicapped
  • Had a significant role in the development of pubic support for particular humanitarian efforts
  • Demonstrates the ability to continue to advance the welfare of human beings over their lifetime

Nominate a Distinguished Alumnus

Nominations for the Distinguished Alumni Awards are accepted annually through November 30th. Do you know an alumnus who is deserving of the Professor Joseph A. Buff Award, Reverend Benjamin Kuhn, O.F.M. Award, Professor Egon Plager Award, or Franciscan Spirit Award?

Please submit a Nomination Form for consideration!