The University of Sioux Falls was founded with the intention of providing “a general and complete education of our youth under distinctively Christian influence.” Our alumni and friends work to make this vision a reality every day. USF is dedicated to honoring the outstanding achievements of our graduates. The USF Alumni Association Board pores over the nominations received and selects the recipient for each Alumni Achievement award.

Each year during Cougar Days, alumni and friends are invited (and highly encouraged) to attend the annual Alumni Achievement Awards Celebration where the deserving recipient for each award is honored. These awards allow USF to recognize outstanding alumni who have made exceptional contributions to their fields of endeavor, their communities and/or their churches. The honorees are recognized in the following four categories:

Pacesetter Award

Established in 1986, the Alumni Pacesetter Award is presented to University of Sioux Falls alumni of 35 years of age or under. This award recognizes alumni who have made a noticeable impact in their chosen field. Demonstrating Christian values and faith, nominees should have achieved noteworthy accomplishments through outstanding leadership and creativity.

Dr. A.O. Larsen Distinguished Alumni Award

In honor of Dr. A.O. Larsen, this award recognizes his many years of distinguished service as a teacher, dean, and friend of USF. The award acknowledges alumni who have been out of school five or more years and who reflect honor upon the University by their service to church, humankind, and profession.

Dr. Firman A. Early Distinguished Ministry Award

This award is named in honor of Dr. Firman A. Early, an esteemed faculty member of the University of Sioux Falls from 1944 to 1978. This award recognizes alumni who have completed at least ten years of ministry and have demonstrated exemplary leadership in Christian ministry, their church and their community.

Lois Harchanko Distinguished Music Award

In honor of Lois Harchanko, this award recognizes her many years of distinguished service as a teacher, mentor, and friend of USF. The award acknowledges alumni who reflect honor upon the University by their accomplishments in the field of music and to their church, humankind, and their profession.

Nominations can be submitted any time, but must be submitted by May 15 to be honored that Fall. Recipients will be notified in June.

View a list of past award recipients here