Donor Recognition & Thanks - Honor Court
Leaving Legacies: Nevada’s Finest Recognized
The University of Nevada, Reno Honor Court was dedicated in 1997 and celebrates the contributions of campus and community leaders. The Honor Court, with its tranquil and beautiful park-like setting, is situated at the south end of campus and is adjacent to the university’s historic Quadrangle. Towering elm trees nearby were planted in 1908 and the Quadrangle, modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s design for the University of Virginia, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The dramatic 45,000-pound, 20-foot granite obelisk listing the university’s Philanthropists anchors Honor Court to the south. A series of impressive pillars, carved from 200,000 pounds of white granite mined from the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains, features the names of major donors, award-winning faculty, students, employees and community members who have contributed to the university’s history and success.
The centerpiece of Honor Court is a gazebo with trellises of blue and white flowering Wisteria. The flowering vines and the adjacent rose garden, resplendent with a dizzying and fragrant selection, are among the plants selected for Honor Court by the University Arboretum. A peaceful and natural boulder fountain flanks the Patron area of Honor Court which traces in granite the silhouette of the mountains beyond. The engraved pillars, ranging from 10 to 14 feet tall and from rough cut to polished granite, were situated naturally into the garden by Honor Court designer and sculptor Johannes Schwartlander. Struck by the beauty of the campus, he incorporated the historical element and natural grandeur of the area.
Honor Court was constructed solely through private donations with local contractors providing, at no cost, much of the labor and materials. Expertise in splitting boulders was provided by faculty in the university’s Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering and the design for Honor Court was the work of the renowned architectural firm Backen, Arrigoni and Ross.
Each year, names are engraved into Honor Court in proud recognition of the accomplishments and support of those who contribute to excellence at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Individuals and organizations that have contributed major donations* to the university are recognized in the following categories in displays carved of Sierra White Granite throughout the Honor Court:
Philanthropist -- $5 million or more
Founder -- $1 million to $4,999,999
Patron -- $500,000 to $999,999
Gold Benefactor -- $250,000 to $499,000
Silver Benefactor – corporations and foundations, $100,000 to $249,999; individuals, families, and through estates and trusts, $50,000 to $249,000
*All donations are cumulative
Together with donors, the names of students, faculty, staff and community members who have contributed to the university’s history of exemplary scholarship, teaching and outreach are engraved and duly acknowledged in the following award categories:
Classified Employee of the Year Award (first presented in 1986)
This award recognizes the employee, with at least five years of continuous service, who demonstrates extraordinary support for the university’s missions and goals, together with outstanding rapport with and respect from peers, students and the public and has achieved excellence in their work.
Distinguished Faculty Award (first presented in 1991)
This faculty award is presented for a lifetime of significant service to the university and community through exceptional contributions to their profession, superior leadership and achieved excellence.
Distinguished Nevadan Award (first presented in 1959)
This award is bestowed by the Board of Regents to prominent Nevadans who have made significant achievements contributing to the cultural, economic, scientific or social advancement of Nevada and its people.
Distinguished Service Award (first presented in 1996)
This award honors administrative faculty, and those academic faculty whose achievements are outside the classroom or laboratory, who demonstrate a career of commitment to excellence, exemplary performance, significant service achievements and substantial contributions to the university’s mission.
Honorary Degree (first presented in 1911)
The Board of Regents presents this recognition to individuals who have made significant contributions to improve the quality of academic life at the university or have rendered distinguished service to higher education.
Foundation Professor(First presented in 1983)
This honor recognizes and salutes the university’s professors for outstanding achievements, particularly in research and teaching. The award is for a three-year period during which the individuals selected receive a $5,000 annual stipend to be used in professional endeavors, a one course per semester reduction in teaching load, and recognition at the annual Foundation Banquet in early fall. In addition, Foundation Professors’ names appear in the University’s Honor Court. Candidates for the award must meet the established criteria and are nominated by their deans in the spring of each year. Funding is provided by the UNR Foundation.
Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award (first presented in 1975)
The award honors a faculty member who has participated significantly in original research which contributes to the university’s distinction as a top research university.
President’s Medal (first presented in 1984)
This award honors individuals who have contributed substantially to the advancement of the university over a significant period of time and was created by University President Joseph Crowley during his tenure.
R. Herz Gold Medal (first presented in 1910)
Minted by the Wilton Herz family since 1910, the Gold Medal is the most prestigious student award and is presented at Commencement to the graduating senior or seniors achieving the highest undergraduate grade-point average while completing at least 120 regularly graded semester credits.
F. Donald Tibbitts University Distinguished Teacher Award (first presented in 1973)
The award is presented to a faculty member for excellence in the classroom, giving greater recognition to teaching as a faculty activity, and is based on recommendations from college deans and department personnel.
University Presidents are engraved in the North Gazebo area of Honor Court to recognize those individuals who have served as leader of the University of Nevada, Reno.