SSA is proud of the many thousands of alumni who are working at all levels to improve the quality of life of vulnerable individuals, families, and communities. Each year, the SSA Alumni Association recognizes distinguished alumni during ReunionWeekend. The Edith Abbott Awardthe Elizabeth Butler Award, and the the Social Impact Award are given biannually on a rotating basis.

Edith Abbott Award

The Edith Abbott Award recognizes an SSA alum for distinguished service to society and for outstanding professional contributions at the local, national, or international levels. Honoring lifetime achievement, exceptional leadership in an agency or within a community; meaningful contributions through research or publications; or demonstrated creativity in traditional, non-traditional, or innovative approaches to practice, award recipients reflect the mission of SSA and a demonstrated, on-going relationship with the School and a commitment to its growth.

Elizabeth Butler Award

The Elizabeth Butler Award honors one recent graduate who has shown exceptional promise in the field of social work. Nominees must have earned an AM or PhD from SSA not more than 10 years ago, and no less than five. A successful candidate for this award will show a strong commitment to social change; leadership in an agency or community; creativity in non-traditional or innovative approaches to practice; contributions to the field through research and publications and/or demonstrated professional skills.

Social Impact Award

The Social Impact Award honors one Mid-Career Alumna/us who has excelled beyond the norm early in their career. Nominees must have earned an AM or PhD from SSA at least 10 years ago. Nominees must be no less than ten years working in the field and no less than 10 years from retirement. A successful candidate for this award will show a strong commitment to social change; leadership (formally or informally) in an agency or community; creativity in non-traditional or innovative approaches to social problems; and committment to furthering the social work field through volunteerism, teaching or mentorship.

Distinctive Innovation in Social Services Award

Nominations are recieved for social service agencies and programs that demonstrated innovation in their approaches and practices.

Milestone Achievement Awards

The Milestone Achievement Award recognizes SSA alumni from milestone reunion classes for contributions to the field of Social Work. This award honors exemplary social work values, exceptional performance in clinical or administrative practice, and strong commitment to our profession.  This award provides an opportunity to honor some of our “unsung” colleagues who strive daily for (or whose past careers reflect) social justice, healthier communities, and the support of vulnerable individuals. 

To honor alumni of milestone Classes of 1967 and 1977, members of the Awards Committee will recognize the achievement of up to two graduates from each class.