At every national convention since 1987, an outstanding alumnus or alumna of the Society has been selected by the National Council from nominees supplied by chapters or directly by members (also up to three nominees may be named by the Awards & Honors Committee of the National Council). The recipient is then asked to accept an expenses-paid trip to speak at the next national convention and for the presentation of the award. The chapter making the nomination of the person chosen will receive a $200 honorarium.

Nominees should have been inducted as undergraduate or graduate members, should have made notable achievements in their chosen careers, and should represent the ideals of Alpha Chi. A nomination must include:

  • a letter from the nominating chapter
  • a resume or C.V.
  • any additional documentation to aid the selection committee


The deadline for nominations for the 2020 award is October 1, 2019.
Please send nomination materials to Executive Director Lara Noah at  lnoah@alphachihonor.org.

Previous Recipients

1987 — Dr. John Michael White, professor of chemistry, University of Texas at Austin, alumnus of Harding University (Arkansas Eta)

1989 — Dr. Richard Bieker, professor of economics at Delaware State College, alumnus of Murray State University

1991 — Dr. Robert H. Jones, professor of surgery, Duke University Medical Center, alumnus of Harding University (Arkansas Eta)

1993 — Dan Rather, anchor and managing editor, CBS Evening News, alumnus of Sam Houston State University (Texas Omicron)

1995 — Dr. Mary W. Gray, professor of mathematics, American University, alumna of Hastings College (Nebraska Alpha)

1997 — Dr. Joe Hightower, professor of chemical engineering, Rice University, alumnus of Harding University (Arkansas Eta)

1999 — Dr. Edwin W. Gaston, Jr., professor emeritus, alumnus of Stephen F. Austin State University (Texas Sigma)

2001 — Clayton C. Anderson, NASA astronaut and mission specialist, alumnus of Hastings College (Nebraska Alpha)

2003 — Dr. David B. Clifford, chair of the department of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, alumnus of Southwestern University (Texas Alpha)

2005 — Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent, alumna of Wartburg College (Iowa Alpha)

2007 — Dr. Tommy Hewett, AmeriPath Oklahoma City, alumnus of East Central University (Oklahoma Gamma)

2009 — Dr. Robert W. Sledge, alumnus of Southwestern University (Texas Alpha), served almost three decades of elective leadership with Alpha Chi

2011 — Heather Triplett Biehl, former senior political analyst for the CIA, alumna of Westminster College (Missouri Delta)

2013 — Leigh Hildebrand, senior assistant parliamentarian to the U.S. Senate, alumna of Westminster College (Missouri Delta)

2014 — General Tommy Franks, United States four-star general, retired from 38 years active military duty, alumnus of the University of Texas at Arlington (Texas Alpha Theta)

2015  Reuben Ironhorse-Kent, member of the Iowa tribe whose work has appeared at the Smithsonian American Indian Art Museum, alumnus of Peru State University (Nebraska Delta) and the Institute of American Indian Arts (New Mexico Gamma)

2016 Avery Bourne, sworn in at age 23 as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from the 95th District, alumna of Columbia College (Missouri Epsilon)

2017 Dr. Ed Madden, inducted into Alpha Chi in 1984 at Harding University (Arkansas Eta) and received his master’s and Ph.D. at the University of Texas Austin; named Columbia, South Carolina’s first Poet Laureate, 2015

2018Dr. John Pistole, alumnus and president of Anderson University (Indiana Alpha); 26 years of FBI service; appointed Administrator of the TSA in 2010 by President Obama

2019 — Dr. U. Shivraj Sohur, alumnus of Angelo State University (Texas Alpha Iota); faculty member at  Harvard Medical School, part-time attending neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and founding president of the 5-2035 Global Foundation for Community Health.