Southwestern Oklahoma State University

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SWOSU Foundation
100 Campus Drive
Weatherford, OK 73096
Phone: (580) 774-3267
Fax: (580) 774-7055

Foundation Seal

Bernhardt Academic Excellence Award

Nomination Form

A great number of SWOSU educators have gained distinction through their achievements in their profession, service to the University, and contributions to their community.  The Bernhardt Academic Excellence Award was established by Dr. Bill and Theta Juan Bernhardt in 1994, to recognize faculty who have exhibited exceptional achievement in teaching, scholarship, and service.

Criteria for Selection

Current faculty members who have exhibited exceptional achievement in teaching, scholarly activities, and community service and make a difference in the lives of SWOSU students are nominated to receive the Bernhardt Academic Excellence Award.  Recipients may be accomplished in the following three distinct areas:

  • Teaching – the recipient is recognized as an outstanding educator with endeavors that form a record of accomplishment impressive to the students of SWOSU, members of the community and state.  This distinction is reflective of Southwestern’s core values – Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect and Selfless Service.  The recipient must have helped to instill these core values to make students better citizens and prepare them for a successful future.
  • Scholarly Activities – the recipient’s deeds and actions reflect the importance of his or her educational training, pride and loyalty to SWOSU, as demonstrated through their continued education, interest in and support of the University and its programs. Research and publications can be used to support academic development.
  • Service to the Community -   the recipient exhibits integrity and demonstrates commitment to service through an interest in bettering the lives of others through volunteer efforts.

Eligible Nominees

All full time faculty members who have completed at least one academic year of service may be nominated.  This award is given for outstanding academic excellence and no compromises diminishing the significance of the award will be made.

Method of Nomination

Nominations may be made for a Bernhardt Academic Excellence Award by any of the following individuals or groups:

  • Any member of the University administration, faculty or staff
  • Any member of an affiliate or support organization of the University
  • Any Southwestern Oklahoma State University current student or former student
  • Any friend of Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Nominations will be accepted using the following guidelines:

  1. The Bernhardt Academic Excellence committee will provide an Award Nomination Form upon request as well as make it available at
  2. The nominator is required to submit the nomination form to the Foundation Office by January 25.
  3. The nominee is required to provide the following supporting documents:
    • Current biography or curriculum vitae for the individual
    • Three (3) letters of support from current or former students
    • Three (3) letters of support from non-family members that address the criteria
    • Newspaper, magazine and web articles
    • Media publication by the nominee
    • Award or certificates of achievement
  4. One nomination per individual will be considered.
  5. Nomination forms will be active for three years providing the nominee participates each of the three years.
  6. No limitation will be placed on the total number of nominations accepted for consideration.
  7. The name of the nominator will not be disclosed.

All nominations must be submitted to the SWOSU Foundation Office by January 25.

Nomination credentials should be submitted to the SWOSU Foundation Office by February 15.

Method of Award Recipient Selection:

The Bernhardt Academic Excellence Selection Committee will use the following guidelines for the Award Recipient Selection:

  • The Bernhardt Academic Excellence Selection Committee will consist of four (4) faculty members nominated by the Faculty Senate-one from each college, one (1) student nominated by the Student Senate, one (1) senior President’s Leadership Class student, and the President-Elect of the SWOSU Alumni Association.
  • The Foundation Office will collect submitted nominations which will be reviewed and validated.
  • The Foundation Office will submit the nominations to the committee in advance of the Selection Committee meeting. 
  • One recipient will be selected annually by secret ballot.  A Selection Committee member must recuse themselves if an individual they have nominated is presented to the Committee for approval.

Announcement and Recognition

The Bernhardt Academic Excellence Selection Committee will announce the annual recipient at the Bernhardt Academic Excellence Award Event and honor the recipient with recognition, a cash award and the Bernhardt Medallion. The SWOSU website will list all past winners and short biography of each.

Nomination Deadline:  January 25
Nomination Credentials Deadline:  February 15
Selection will be made no later than March 6
A Recognition Award Event will be held annually for all faculty and to present the Bernhardt Academic Excellence Award.