Alumni Awards

Each year Grand View University recognizes alumni and friends who personify the University's mission of commitment to develop the whole person – mind, body and spirit – and to prepare students for successful careers and responsible citizenship both in their communities and in a diverse and changing world.

Through outstanding achievements and contributions, these individuals bring honor to Grand View. Established in 1984 with just one award, the awards program has grown to five award categories plus the Athletics Hall of Fame which is awarded separately. The awards—Distinguished Alumni Award, Robert L. Mahaffey Community Service Award, 10 Under 10 Alumni Award, Danish Heritage Preservation Award, and the Sally Cartwright Volunteer Award—are presented annually at a special celebration.

The nomination process is simple with the option for the nominator or nominee to complete the form. The deadline to submit for the 2023 awards is July 21, 2023.  Click on each award below to learn more about that award and to complete a nomination form.


Have a question about these awards? Contact us at (515) 263-2957 or alumni @

Award Descriptions

Please read below to learn more about each of these award types and start thinking about who you would like to nominate!

Danish Heritage Preservation Award*

The Danish Heritage Preservation Award was initiated in 1996. This prestigious award honors Grand View alumni and friends who have made a significant contribution to preserving Danish Heritage for generations to come. Grand View’s core values emerge from our Lutheran heritage and our Danish roots. These bedrock values shape academic life, student life, and faith life at Grand View. Informed by its Danish Lutheran heritage, Grand View is a School for Life. 

Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to Grand View alumni who have performed in an outstanding manner in their professions and civic activities and who are recognized by their peers as leaders. In addition, Distinguished Alumni exhibit qualities of character and spirit that fulfill the mission of Grand View University. Grand View's full mission statement can be found here. 

The nomination period is open until July 21, 2023.

Submit Your Nomination

Robert L. Mahaffey Community Service Award

Grand View Athletics is proud to participate in the NAIA’s Champions of Character program which aims at developing their Core Values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.  In 2017 a new alumni award was developed to recognize former student-athletes who have continued to live by the Champions of Character five core values beyond their time at Grand View. 

The Robert L. Mahaffey Community Service Award is presented to past Grand View Viking student-athletes who have made significant contributions to their community through their time, actions, talents, and dedication.  The honoree selected should serve as a role model for compassion and service, and strive to make the world a better place. The honoree should have a passion for helping others in their community.

The award's namesake, Bob Mahaffey '58, played basketball and baseball at Grand View and since went on to dedicate much of his life to giving back.  Bob held leadership positions with the East Des Moines Chamber, East High School Alumni Foundation, Ward 2 Des Moines City Councilman and served as a loyal member of the Grand View Board of Trustees.

2023 nomination information coming soon.

10 Under 10 Alumni Awards

The 10 Under 10 Alumni Award is presented to 10 Grand View alumni who have not yet celebrated 10 years since graduating from Grand View. Each is making a significant impact in their profession and/or community since graduation.

This award celebrates the variety of passions and interests of GV alumni and demonstrates how the Grand View experience contributed to the foundation for their success. Each recipient's vision, drive, and leadership in their field or community is considered in the selection process.

The nomination period is open until July 21, 2023.

Submit Your Nomination

Sally Cartwright Volunteer Service Award*

The Sally Cartwright Volunteer Service Award is presented to Grand View alumni and friends who have distinguished themselves through service to the University and community, and have demonstrated generosity through the contribution of personal resources and talents.

Sally Cartwright was instrumental in implementing the planned giving program, Heritage Society, and in the restoration of Old Main into the Humphrey Center at Grand View. She served as the Assistant Vice President for Advancement and Planned Giving until her death in 1993.

The nomination period is open until July 21, 2023.

Submit your nomination

*Award given on alternating years.