The Pillar Society of Fairleigh Dickinson University was instituted in 2001 by President Michael Adams, to recognize those exceptional individuals who, over time, have made extraordinary contributions to the character and quality of the University, its community and culture.


Presentation of a $1000 check presented at the Convocation each fall. Vancouver recipients will receive their award during Vancouver’s Pre-Commencement Dinner. The recipient’s name is to be inscribed on an individual plaque — presented to recipient. An FDU pin is awarded to each recipient. In addition, Pillar recipients are invited to participate in the commencement ceremony procession for their respective campuses.


  • Individual serving at FDU in a non-faculty role for at least ten years and below the rank of Assistant Vice President, Associate Vice President or Vice President.
  • Individual demonstrates a keen understanding of FDU’s mission and history.
  • Individual promotes civility on campus.
  • Individual serves as a role model for other FDU employees and students.
  • Individual demonstrates high level of concern for students and other members of the University community.
  • Individual should be actively involved in the FDU community above and beyond his/her specific job requirements.


In the spring of each academic year, the Office of Human Resources prepares a letter to the FDU community, listing criteria for the award, calling for nominations, and establishing a published deadline.

Students and graduate assistants are not permitted to nominate.

Nominators must be employed with FDU at least three years.

Nominations must be individually submitted with a recommendation. Group petition nominations will not be accepted.

Re-nomination of prior nominees, not previously selected, but who are still eligible, is encouraged.

In the absence of a sufficient pool of nominees, the committee may access the previous pool of nominees from the past two years.

Current qualified Pillar Society members will be permitted to submit one nomination. All current Pillar recipients, upon promotion to the rank of Assistant Vice President, Associate Vice President or Vice President, will retain their position as Pillar but are removed from the nomination and election process.

Nominations will be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources and vetted for adherence to the eligibility criteria referenced above.

The Office of Human Resources will provide active Pillar Society members with a copy of all eligible nomination forms, and include a ballot form. Members will be instructed to mail ballots back to Human Resources.

The Office of Human Resources will determine the results, selecting no more than one recipient from each major New Jersey campus and the Vancouver Campus, and communicate accordingly with the Office of the President, University Operations, and Communications.

Announcements and Awarding of Pillar Awards

A letter signed by the University President, will be sent to each awardee. The names are forwarded to the Senior Vice President for Operations for inclusion in the Convocation program and scripts, and to the Vancouver Campus Executive for inclusion in the Pre-Commencement Dinner program. The names are forwarded, along with the nominations, to the Office of Communications for the development of a 100-200 word citation to be read at the New Jersey convocation or Vancouver Pre-Commencement Dinner. Copies of all nominations will be forwarded to the President’s Office to be kept on file, in a confidential manner, for two years. Citations are to be reviewed by the awardee prior to the presentation. NOTE: Senior Vice President for Operations reads citation; President conveys award. Recipients are encouraged to make a brief (50 words) statement of acceptance. The Office of Human Resources reserves the right to periodically review the procedures and make recommendations to the Office of the President.