Oliver Max Gardner Award

This award is given annually by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina to a faculty member who "has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race." Each of the sixteen universities is invited to nominate an individual from its campus. The award has been given since 1949 and "...those chosen in the past have been persons who have made notable contributions of national or international scale, or persons whose contributions, although local, have served as models nationally or internationally."

There is a maximum of one nominee per campus each year. The winner is recognized, with the members of the Gardner family at the May meeting of the Board of Governors. Here is the list of past winners since the award's inception in 1949.


  • Recent national or international contribution to the welfare of the human race or whose local contributions serve as a model for the national or international community.
  • Hold full-time faculty rank including instructor, and engage in teaching in any unit of the institution.


  • Individuals can be nominated by faculty, students, administrators or alumni of Appalachian State University.
  • Nominations are received and reviewed by the University Awards Committee.
  • The highest-ranked nominees are notified and work with the University Awards Committee to develop a portfolio for review by the Chancellor and Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, and submission to the UNC Board of Governors if selected as the campus nominee.
  • The University Awards Committee recommends up to three (3) individuals to the Chancellor and Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor for final selection as the nominee from Appalachian State University.

Nominating Procedures

To make a nomination, complete the O. Max Gardner award nomination form by 5 p.m., on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 - one nominee per form. Please read the above eligibility requirements before submitting a form.