Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award

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The Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award was established with a $12 million donation by university trustee Gerry Lenfest in 2005 in order to recognize members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences "of unusual merit across a range of professorial activities -- including scholarship, University citizenship and professional involvement -- with a primary emphasis on the instruction and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students."[1][2]

Unlike the Mark Van Doren Award, which is awarded by students, and the Great Teacher Award, which is awarded by alumni, the Distinguished Faculty Award is awarded by members of the faculty, is not limited to faculty who teach classes open to students of Columbia College (or SEAS), and perhaps more significantly, comes with a significant amount of money attached.

By the terms of the gift, a committee chaired by the vice president of Arts and Sciences and made up of six senior faculty members of his or her choosing selects up to 10 faculty members to be honored at a public ceremony and to receive annual awards of $25,000 for a three-year period.

The first ten faculty awardees were announced in December of 2005.[3]

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