Overarching Standards:

  • National Recognition
  • Long and distinguished career
  • May include active, former, and retired roles (if a person is former/retired they—and the company/organization—need to remain nationally well-known, “a household name,” beyond their tenure in notable position)
  • Living alumnus/a

Public Service Category

  • Must have attained specified high rank in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines (Coast Guard, National Guard, Reserves)
  • Army/Air Force: Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, General
  • Navy/Marines: Rear Admiral, Lower Half Rear Admiral, Vice Admiral, Admiral
  • President or Executive Director of a nationally-recognized non-profit organization
  • Member of U.S. Congress
  • Ranking Member of Cabinet, U.S. Presidential Staff, or other key Presidential Appointment
  • State or Federal Supreme Court Judge
  • United States Court of Appeals Judge (The United States courts of appeals (or circuit courts) are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system.)
  • Mayor of a large city (500,000+ population, city referenced in USA today) or higher (i.e. elected state official, governor)

Business Category

  • President/Chairman/CEO of a nationally-recognized company OR President/Chairman/CEO of a regionally-prominent company.
  • Top-ranking corporate officer of a Fortune 500, NYSE, or Nasdaq company.

Education/Research Category

  • College/University President
  • Dean or higher level position at an accredited nationally-recognized 4-year college/university
  • Writer with a large following outside of academia
  • Nationally-prominent and recognized expert in an academic field

Arts/Entertainment/Media Category

  • Producer / Director of a nationally-recognized film or TV show
  • Lead actor/actress on a nationally-broadcast show or Broadway production
  • Radio or Television Personality in a major media market
  • Editor-in-Chief or publisher of a national publication
  • National Award Winner (Pulitzer, Academy, Grammy, Emmy, Tony, etc.)

Sports Category

  • Prominent player on a professional top-level sports team, Olympic team, World Cup team, or other national (international) team
  • Manager, head coach, or higher administration of a professional sports team
  • Head Coach of a nationally-recognized college sports program
  • Nationally-recognized agent or nationally-recognized official/higher level administrator in a professional sports league/federation/association
  • Former professional athletes remain on the list if they have a long and distinguished career of at least 10 years or more

Religious Category

  • Bishop or higher position in the Catholic Church and equivalent high-ranking position in the hierarchy of other major world religions


*At the discretion of the University, other names may be added.