The Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award



The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes graduates for:

  • a particular achievement,

  • a series of such achievements, or

  • a career of noteworthy accomplishment.

Caltech has recognized 266 alumni across all industries since it began presenting this award in 1966.

The nomination period closes on August 25, 2019.


Alumni who have attained any degree (B.S., M.S., Engineer's Degree, or Ph.D.) at Caltech may be considered for this award. 

Graduates who are currently on the faculty or staff at Caltech are not eligible, with the exception of those who have achieved the rank of Professor Emeritus. Awarding the DAA to a retired Caltech faculty or staff member has been and is expected to continue to be a rare occurrence. Sitting members of Caltech’s Board of Trustees are not eligible until they have achieved the rank of Life Trustee.

Selection Process

Selections are made by the president of Caltech based on recommendations from a committee comprising faculty, staff, and alumni. The president’s recommendations are confirmed by the Board of Trustees.

Submitting a Nomination

A narrative nomination letter or brief is vital and helps the nomination committee understand the out-of-the-ordinary, remarkable, and distinctive achievements of your nominee. The achievements and impact of your nominee should be highlighted as they relate to the award criteria (found above).

Anonymous or self-nominations are not accepted.