Annual BGSA Awards

Be sure to download the award form and email the completed document to with the subject line: BGSA Award Application

BGSA Humanitarian Award

The Black Graduate Association continues this tradition in community service.  This organization is committed to the task of not only improving the lives of African Americans but the lives of all people.  In keeping with that commitment, an objective of this organization is to provide services to the residents of the Lafayette and West Lafayette communities.  The honoree of this award should embody a giving spirit and a devotion to the enhancement of the life of his or her fellow man.  The recipient of this award not only volunteers their time to promote human welfare, but also serves as a catalyst for social reform.

Download the BGSA Humanitarian Award form here

BGSA Social Justice Award

The Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) is an advocate and supporter for important social issues that influence the performance and quality of life of all graduate and professional students. In the past, members of BGSA have made valuable contributions to advancing social justice, addressing social, economic, environmental, racial, gender, and political issues. The honoree of this award is a graduate or professional student (or organization), who has demonstrated their compassion, empathy, courage, and leadership by engaging in the very difficult work of fostering tolerance, acceptance, appreciation, humanity, and dignity at Purdue University through their practices, projects, and vision.

Download the BGSA Social Justice Award form here

Dr. Johnny E. Brown Membership Award

Dr. Johnny E. Brown has served as a professor of Mathematics at Purdue University since 1990 and has an extensive history the Purdue community.  He is a member of the American Mathematical Society, Mathematical Association of America, National Association of Mathematicians, and Association of Women in Mathematics.  Dr. Brown has a commitment to teaching, which has resulted in many prestigious honors. Dr. Brown serves as a model to the commitment one could have to an institution that supports one’s success. The Dr. Johnny E. Brown Membership Award honoree is a BGSA member who shows a commitment to all BGSA sponsored events and programs.  Participation is the key to having a successful organization and without the steadfast involvement; the BGSA would cease to exist.  Therefore, this award is a token of appreciation from the BGSA to a member who has gone far beyond the call of duty to ensure that the BGSA remains an active force on Purdue’s campus.

Download the BGSA Johnny E. Brown Membership Award form here

Dr. Luther S. Williams Leadership Award

Dr. Luther S. Williams was a former graduate student and professor at Purdue University. He has served in many leadership roles that have included but aren’t limited to, Assistant Provost at Purdue University, Dean of the Graduate School at University of Washing in St. Louis, President at Atlanta University, Assistant Director of Education and Human Resources with the National Science Foundation, and Provost of Tuskegee University. The Dr. Luther S. Williams Leadership Award honoree is given to a member who displays an exceptional level of guidance to his or her peers in the Black Graduate Student Association.  The recipient of this award also shows initiative in programs outside of the Black Graduate Student Association.

Download the BGSA Luther S. Williams Leadership Award form here

Dr. Dolores Cooper Shockley Presidential Award

 The Presidential Award is in honor of Dr. Dolores Cooper Shockley.  Dr. Shockley was the first African American to receive her doctoral degree from Purdue University. She accomplished this amazing task in 1955, graduating with a degree in Pharmacology.  Her monumental achievement took place before the full swing of the Civil Rights Movement and decades before the women’s liberation movement.  Dr. Dolores Cooper Shockley’s strive for excellence paved the way for many future Black students.

This award is given with the highest admiration from the Black Graduate Student Association.  The member, selected by the BGSA President, honored with such esteem by his or her peers must possess exceptional commitment to the improvement of his or her current community, and most importantly, dedication and participation in the Black Graduate Student Association.

BGSA Awards for Supporters of BGSA Principles and Mission.

Engagement Award

In past years, the BGA has chosen to identify organizations and/or individuals who have made a significant contribution to Engagement, Diversity and Community Outreach at Purdue University.  The first recipient in 2005 was Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), whose varied contributions included initiation of the Purdue Research Opportunities Program (PROP) as an academic enrichment and recruitment mechanism for students from Historically Black Colleges & Universities, Hispanic Speaking Institutions, Tribal Colleges, as well as under-represented students within majority institutions.

An individual and/or organization must be nominated by a BGSA member to be a recipient of this award.

Download the BGSA Engagement Award form here

Distinguished Service Award

 Each year, the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) of Purdue University has chosen to honor individuals who have made significant and sustained contributions to Black Higher Education within the State of Indiana.   The designated honorees have all shared a commitment to play vanguard roles in the struggle to equip tomorrow’s leaders of African descent with the requisite intellectual attainment, technological skills, humanitarian focus, and social commitment and political consciousness so that their scholarly and societal contributions can be more enlightened and enduring than that of the previous and current generations.

Former honorees included individuals who have made major contributions to the education, recruitment, and retention of African American students.  These individual’s have been dedicated to the cause of educating, mentoring, nurturing and advocating on behalf of Black students and their quest for excellence and collective advancement. To be considered for this award, an individual must be nominated by a BGSA member.

Download the BGSA Distinguished Service Award here