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Awards / Honors

Celebrating 25 years of University Distinguished Professors

April 22, 2011

On this 25th anniversary of the University Distinguished Professor program, the Provost's Office is sponsoring a number of commemorative activities throughout 2011. Plaques recognizing all UDPs were unveiled on April 26 during the Celebrate! Colorado State Awards ceremony. The plaques will be placed in the Lory Student Center and the Provost's Conference Room.

Emeritus Professor Jack Cermak was among the first five University Distinguished Professors selected in 1986. A legacy of scholarship and achievement

The University Distinguished Professor title is one of the highest academic recognitions awarded by the University. The honor is bestowed upon a very small number of full professors at any one time on the basis of outstanding scholarship and achievement. Select professors in concentrations from the sciences to the humanities hold the distinction for the duration of their association with CSU.

“University Distinguished Professors are the embodiment of Colorado State’s commitment to excellence,” said President Tony Frank. “These professors, researchers and teachers are internationally acclaimed scholars and leaders in their fields, and their accomplishments and scholarship bring honor and esteem to our University and to higher education throughout the nation.

“As citizens of the world’s society, we all stand to benefit greatly from the research and intellectual pursuits of these outstanding members of the University.”

Origins of the honor

The UDP title first originated with the University’s Faculty Council in 1983 during Philip Austin’s presidency. Actual implementation of the honor, however, was delayed until 1986, to allow the provost and a special faculty committee to devise appropriate nomination, selection, and award procedures. 

UDPs comprise less than 1 percent of CSU faculty and, over 25 years of the program’s existence, 31 have received this special honor.

To obtain the UDP rank, faculty members are nominated through an extensive review process and must be approved by current UDPs. CSU’s current president approves new selections and secures endorsement from the Colorado State University System Board of Governors.

The first five UDPs selected in 1986 included Jack E. Cermak, Civil Engineering; Mortimer M. Elkind, Radiology and Radiation Biology; Howard E. Evans, Zoology and Entomology; and Albert I. Meyers and John K. Stille, both in Chemistry.

More details on University Distinguished Professors.

Following are CSU’s current and emeritus University Distinguished Professors. Years of nomination are included.

  • Jack E. Cermak, 1986, Civil Engineering (emeritus)
  • Mortimer M. Elkind, 1986, Radiology and Radiation Biology (deceased)
  • Howard E. Evans, 1986, Zoology and Entomology (emeritus)
  • Albert I. Meyers, 1986, Chemistry (deceased)
  • John K. Stille, 1986, Chemistry (deceased)
  • Gordon D. Niswender, 1987, Physiology (emeritus)
  • Marshall Fixman, 1987, Chemistry (emeritus)
  • Stanley A. Schumm, 1987, Earth Resources (deceased)
  • Willard L. Lindsay, 1989, Agronomy (deceased)
  • Takumi Tsuchiya, 1991, Agronomy (deceased)
  • Holmes Rolston III, 1992, Philosophy (emeritus)
  • George E. Seidel Jr., 1993, Physiology
  • Gary C. Smith, 1993, Animal Sciences (emeritus)
  • Edward A. Hoover, 1994, Pathology
  • Thomas H. Vonder Haar, 1994, Atmospheric Science
  • Patrick J. Brennan, 1997, Microbiology
  • John A. Wiens, 1999, Biology (emeritus)
  • Barry J. Beaty, 2001, Microbiology
  • Bernard E. Rollin, 2001, Philosophy
  • Anne G. Fisher, 2001, Occupational Therapy (emeritus)
  • Robert M. Williams, 2002, Chemistry
  • Stephen J. Withrow, 2004, Clinical Sciences
  • Louis S. Hegedus, 2004, Chemistry (emeritus)
  • Graeme L. Stephens, 2005, Atmospheric Science (emeritus)
  • Jan E. Leach, 2007, Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management
  • Karolin Luger, 2007, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Jorge G. Rocca, 2007, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • John N. Sofos, 2007, Animal Sciences
  • C. Wayne McIlwraith, 2009, Clinical Sciences
  • Ian M. Orme, 2009, Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology
  • Diana H. Wall, 2009, Biology