Each year, the University YMCA presents a variety of awards to recognize those individuals whose involvement positively impacts the Y and the Champaign-Urbana community. Recipients are honored for their commitment to the organization and mission of the University Y at the Annual Dinner in the spring and recognized on plaques found in Latzer Hall.

The John W. Price Award for Volunteer Service to International Understanding is given to a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who has shown a commitment to international understanding by organizing and delivering international programs and services.

John Price, a career YMCA professional, served as the International Programs Director of the University YMCA from 1950 to 1968. Under his leadership, hundreds of students, staff, faculty, and community members gained a special appreciation for the international richness of Champaign-Urbana and the special gifts that people of many cultures bring to the University of Illinois campus. Through his example and programs, students now spread around the globe a special commitment to international peace and understanding. John gave active leadership to the Cosmopolitan Club and International Student and Scholar Services (formerly the Office of International Student Affairs) where he served as a staff member following his tenure at the University Y.

The Harold W. Colvin Award For Leadership by an Undergraduate at the University of Illinois will be given to a University of Illinois undergraduate student who has demonstrated superior leadership ability and devotion to the objectives of the University YMCA.

In harmony with Mr. Colvin's commitment to the objectives of the YMCA in higher education, the Colvin Award will be given to a student who has stimulated spiritual and ethical growth, fostered good interpersonal and inter group relationships, promoted social, political and economic justice, while maintaining the integrity of the natural world at the local, state and national levels.

Harold Colvin joined the staff of the University YMCA on February 1, 1919.  He immediately developed an extensive outreach service for Champaign-Urbana youth, which provided both valuable character development for participants and excellent leadership training for the University of Illinois students who guided these programs.  Mr. Colvin moved to the national staff of the College and University YMCA in 1927 where he became known for his great organizational abilities and his warmth of character.  From 1961 to 1976 - after "retirement" - Mr. Colvin was the director of the newly established Fred S. Bailey Scholarship Program that has given more than a million and half-dollars to qualified students with demonstrated leadership potential.

The J. Frederick Miller Award is given for distinguished volunteer service by a staff or faculty member of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or a member of the Religious Workers Association of Urbana-Champaign.

The Miller Award will be given to an individual who has made significant contributions as a volunteer during his or her life in the local community.  The award recognizes direct public service to the campus or local community and efforts of organizing and delivering community service.  The award honors volunteer participation which, in the judgment of the Board of Governors of the University YMCA, reflects an expression of moral understanding and civic responsibility and stands as a model of such service to students and others in this community.

Fred Miller, a career YMCA professional, served as General Secretary of the University YMCA at the University of Illinois from 1958-1967.  Under his leadership hundreds of staff, faculty and students gained a special appreciation for the importance of volunteer service, to the University YMCA and to the community.  As a result of their experiences many have made life-long committments to their communities and society.

The Edward Nestingen Award for University YMCA Alumni is presented annually in recognition that the personal and professional qualities modeled by staff, and epitomized in Ed’s long career as a YMCA professional, have a significant impact on the life paths of individuals who join in University YMCA service.  It also serves as a way for University Y alumni to recognize their peers who they know have continued to grow in ways that Ed and other staff have nurtured.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to students, staff or community members who have show involvement and commitment to programs and leadership at the University YMCA.  The Distinguished Service Award will go to one Student, and one other person who stands out as extraordinary among those nominated.  Nominations arise from involvement with any of the University YMCA programs and the University YMCA as a whole.

The Gerald Brighton Young Alumni Award is presented annually in recognition of the personal and professional accomplishments of young alumni. Awarded to alumni of the University YMCA's programs, 25 to 40 years of age, this award recognizes the noteworthy and distinctive impact of the individual's work in their community, in either a professional and/or volunteer capacity.


Click here to make a Nomination


For questions about the YMCA's Leadership Awards, contact Jennifer Romine, Office Manager, at jennifer@universityymca.org or call 217-337-1500.