Honora Shaughnessy—Director of Alumni Relations
McGill University—Montreal, Quebec
Award Programs
Circle of Excellence Fact Sheet


The international Circle of Excellence awards program recognizes outstanding work in advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing as judged by peer professionals at schools, colleges and universities as well as by professionals from outside education.


Winners are selected based on a number of factors, including overall quality, innovation, use of resources and the impact on the institution or its external and internal communities, such as alumni, parents, students and faculty and staff. The Circle of Excellence awards program is open to professionals working at member colleges, universities, independent schools and nonprofits around the world.


CASE assembles expert judging panels made up of professionals in the fields of advancement services, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing. These judging sessions are hosted on various member campuses. One or more panels are convened for each of the 45 categories, which cover areas of alumni relations programs, fundraising programs, institutional relations, new media, advancement services, institutional marketing, periodicals and publications and design.

Gold, silver, and bronze awards may be given in each category. Judges have the option of giving no awards, and they may also recognize exceptional entries with a grand gold medal. Judging is completed in the spring with winning institutions revealed in June. An exhibition of grand gold winners is on display in the awards gallery each July at CASE's Summit for Leaders in Advancement. Award winners are also recognized at the CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference in January, the CASE Europe Annual Conference in August and at the annual CASE Asia-Pacific Conference in March.


In 2013, CASE received more than 2,900 entries for consideration in 45 categories by 615 member higher education institutions, independent schools and nonprofits from around the world. Judges gave 281 bronze, silver and gold awards. Nineteen institutions received the top prize of a grand gold award.


Made up of several of CASE's long-time recognition programs, the Circle of Excellence awards program, in its present configuration, was introduced in 1994. Each year, it has grown in prestige and is now one of CASE's most popular and respected awards programs.

About CASE

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is one of the largest international associations of education institutions, serving more than 3,600 universities, colleges, schools and related organizations in 76 countries. CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information and standards in the fields of education fundraising, communications, marketing and alumni relations.

Media kit

For questions or more information, contact Brian Flahaven, director, Legislative, Foundation and Recognition Programs, at +1-202-478-5617 or e-mail at flahaven@case.org.


Help/Create Account