Laureate Legacy

Event Background

Group photo of past citizen laureates
Our Laureate Family

With a history spanning more than 40 years, The University at Albany Foundation's Citizen Laureate Awards have maintained their original intent, which was to strengthen the ties between the academic and business communities.

Designed to not only honor each year's recipients for their achievements but to inspire others to share their talents to the benefit of community and academia, they continue to recognize and elevate the awareness of civic and academic achievement exemplifying the highest standards of leadership and citizenship.

Held in various landmarks throughout the Capital Region (see below) since 1977, the awards have honored outstanding leaders in business and industry, government, and academia for their extraordinary accomplishments. Proudly founded by Sorrell E. Chesin, Ph.D., Alan V. Iselin, and Lewis P. Welch, Ph.D., all of whom turned an idea into a legacy, the event is now a signature fundraising event for UAlbany students, with proceeds benefiting the important work of The University at Albany Foundation. Established in 1967 to encourage philanthropic support, The Foundation continues to advance the University’s strategic goals and sponsors efforts to build the University’s ties to the community. 

Laureate Legacy

Over 100 distinguished awardees have been honored over the course of the event's history, and our laureate's efforts continue to transform our Capital Region economically, scientifically, culturally, intellectually, and socially. 

Qualifications for the award remain virtually unchanged. 

  • The Academic Laureate Award recognizes individuals for their notable achievements in academia, including teaching, research, scholarship, administration and/or service.
  • The Community Laureate Award honors individuals for their impactful and sustained contributions to the community. 

Both must have widely recognized records of achievements which have long-range significance in enhancing the quality of life in our community. Nominations for the awards continue to be limited to the Capital Region. 

Our laureate family’s creativity, teaching, entrepreneurship, research, mentorship, generosity, and friendship have forever transformed our region and our University. We honor those we have lost throughout the years, knowing their legacies live on in many ways.

Citizen Laureate Dinner Locations: A Retrospective

1977-1985 UAlbany Uptown Campus - reception around fountain, dinner in Campus Center Ballroom, dancing in Patroon Lounge
1986  Norstar Plaza (Union Station)
1987  NYS Museum, Albany 
1988  Hall of Springs, Saratoga
1989  NYS Education Building, Albany
1990  UAlbany Uptown Campus - awards ceremony in the Performing Arts Center, dinner in Campus Center Ballroom
1991  UAlbany Uptown Campus Ballroom
1992  UAlbany Uptown Campus RACC (now SEFCU Arena)
1994  UAlbany Uptown Campus - cocktails around fountain, dinner in Campus Center Ballroom
1995  Kiernan Plaza, Albany 
1996  NYS Museum, Albany 
1997  Hall of Springs, Saratoga
1998  Franklin Plaza, Troy
1999  Hall of Springs, Saratoga
2000  Glen Sanders Mansion, Scotia
2001  UAlbany Uptown Campus - cocktails in Science Library Atrium, dinner under tent on lawn
2002  Hall of Springs, Saratoga
2005-11  Hall of Springs, Saratoga
2012-now  UAlbany Uptown Campus - SEFCU Arena

*The event was not held in 1993, 2003 and 2004 due to scheduling conflicts, or 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.