Annual Leadership Awards

Nominations are open until June 24, 2019!


Outstanding Community Service: SSA chapters show how the non-religious, atheist humanist communities can be good without God by performing community service and contributing to philanthropic causes or associations. The Outstanding Community Service Award will recognize one SSA chapter that makes a difference in their community through their commitment to one or more service projects or philanthropic endeavors.

Outstanding Contribution to Social Justice: Student organizations enhance the university and community by contributing to social justice, i.e. working to create a more just, equitable and inclusive society free of racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, and other forms of oppression.  The Outstanding Contribution to Social Justice Award will be presented to one SSA chapter that has demonstrated a strong commitment to social justice.

Outstanding Educational Program of the Year: One of the primary functions of SSA chapters is to hold educational events that approach a variety of subjects from an evidence-based, non-religious basis. The Outstanding Educational Program of the Year Award will be presented to one SSA chapter that demonstrated creativity and commitment to advance education on their campus.

Bridge Builder Award: SSA chapters have the opportunity to be significant leaders on campus. In addition to creating community for its members, SSA chapters can and should build bridges to other student organizations as well as administration. This includes faith-based, political, service, activist, and specific subject student organizations. The Bridge Builder Award will be presented to one SSA chapter that has demonstrated campus-wide leadership in building strong inter-organizational relationships.

New Chapter of the Year: This award recognizes an SSA chapter that registered during the current school year and has demonstrated an outstanding potential for growth and development of its members while contributing to the campus community. New chapters include those that are being restarted after being dormant or defunct for a year or more.


Distinguished Leadership Award: This award recognizes high school or undergraduate students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in the past academic year. More than one recipient may be awarded.

Honored student leaders:

  • Articulate a positive vision and move the organization in that direction
  • Demonstrate commitment to the secular values of curiosity, compassion and courage
  • Act from a healthy sense of self
  • Think critically and creatively
  • Take risks willingly
  • Communicate effectively
  • Exercise power appropriately
  • Evoke hope.

Outstanding Academic Achievement: This award recognizes students that have achieved exceptionally high academic marks while an SSA leader and have been recognized by their campus and/or community for this achievement. More than one recipient may be awarded.

Legacy Award: The Legacy Award recognizes a student graduating during the 2017-18 year (undergraduate or graduate) whose influence, ideals and activities throughout their college career have left a lasting, positive impression on the institution and raises the standard of excellence for future generations. More than one recipient may be awarded.

Outstanding SSA Advisor: Advisors are hugely important to the success of SSA chapters by motivating members, providing examples of effective leadership and responsibility, challenging students to build upon previous accomplishments, and recognizing members for their dedication and hard work. The Outstanding SSA Advisor Award recognize advisors who have made outstanding contributions to their organizations. More than one recipient may be awarded


  1. To qualify for the following awards, chapters much have completed all the necessary steps to be considered a chapter, including submitting the most recent registration along with a membership roster.
  2. To qualify for the following awards, individuals must be SSA members. Student Memberships are FREE. To become a student member, visit our website and fill out the simple form.



Based on submitted nominations, all nominees are evaluated on the quality of their demonstrated leadership and the extent to which they have lived out secular values and made meaningful contributions to the Secular Student Alliance. When nominating a student, be sure to include a thorough description of his or her contributions to the campus, including all achievements as a student leader.
The more information provided about the nominee the better, as this information is key in considering them for this honor.