History of the Awards

The oldest record we have indicates that the awards started as the Outstanding Man and Outstanding Woman of the Year in 1950. The awards were presented by "Semper Virens Staff" for “Outstanding Leadership in College Activities” to one male and one female student every year. We are a little unclear on what is meant by “Semper Virens Staff” and what the relation to HSU is, but we think that this may have been the name of a committee or group of staff members who were involved in the process somehow.

The awards continued every year, and in 1971 “Outstanding Leadership in College Activities” was changed to “Students Who Make a Difference” and “Semper Virens Staff” was removed completely.

At some point in the 2000’s, the name of the award was changed to “Outstanding Student of the Year” when HSU students (true to the activist and social justice oriented spirit of Humboldt) questioned the gendered nature of having “Outstanding Man” and “Outstanding Woman” awards.

Over the course of the awards, other academic and co-curricular awards were incorporated into the event in order to create a unified recognition process and event by which HSU recognizes the excellence and achievement of our students. The two Outstanding Students of the Year are selected from among the top nominees from the various award categories.

While this year we had to announce winners through a website, we still wanted to celebrate all our outstanding students. Our winners will receive their awards when the shelter-in-place orders are lifted and all nominees will receive certificates. Please check your HSU email for more information regarding that.