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2024 distinguished service

Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award

About the Award

Once per biennium, The Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has provided sustained, non-compensated volunteer service to others beyond the realm of academia. The awardee receives a recognition citation, life membership and a $1,000 donation to a nonprofit cause of their choice.


Dec. 15, 2025: Application portal opens.

Feb. 1, 2026: Application Deadline

Spring 2026: Recipient will be notified based upon board approval

August 2026: Attend Phi Kappa Phi convention

Want a reminder when applications open again? Click here.


The Ray Sylvester Distinguished Service Award recognizes service over the course of one's professional career beyond the realm of academia. To that end, students are not eligible for this award.

  • The nominee must have been initiated by Feb. 1, 2019.
  • The nominee need not be affiliated with an academic institution.
  • The nominee must be an active member with current dues paid as of Feb. 1, 2024.
  • The nominee cannot be a sitting Phi Kappa Phi board member, divisional vice president, member of the Distinguished Service Award committee or Society employee at time of application or announcement.
  • The service cannot be part of the nominee's job description or position.
  • The service cannot be the sole donation of money to a cause or organization.
  • The service can be performed by a non-U.S. citizen and conducted in any country.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria includes:

  • Distinguished record of dedicated, sustained service over many years to one or more causes or organizations (at least six years of substantive service).
  • Demonstrated involvement of the nominee's participation in the service activities.
  • Evidence of demonstrated impact of the service. 

Application Process

You will submit your application through our online portal. You will be required to submit a cover letter from the chapter president or other nominator (including self) describing the sustained service and the evidence of the impact of the service; your current CV; and at least one (up to three) letter(s) of support.

The recipient's attendance at the Society's biennial convention is expected.


For FAQ's and additional applicant resources, click here.