Academic Awards Program

Symbols are important. What we as a people choose to recognize and honor helps determine our priorities and define what we regard as successful. When our students and educators excel, it is vital that they be recognized and serve as role models encouraging others to aspire to excellence. That is the purpose of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence’s flagship event, the annual Academic Awards Celebration.

The Foundation recognizes and honors academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools through a prestigious Oklahoma Academic Awards Program. Awards to be given at the Academic Awards Celebration in May include:

  • $1,000 scholarship to each of the 100 Academic All-State scholars selected from Oklahoma’s public high school graduating seniors;
  • $5,000 cash award and Medal for Excellence to five public school educators, one each at the elementary, secondary, community college/regional university and research university levels. An elementary/secondary administrator also is honored.

Since 1987, the foundation has awarded more than $5 million in merit-based scholarships and awards. Academic All-Staters and Medal for Excellence recipients are honored at the annual Academic Awards Celebration, which is attended by nearly 1,000 people and broadcast statewide by OETA Public Television. The gala celebration has been described as the “Academy Awards” of public education in Oklahoma.

Our 35th Academic Awards Celebration will be held on Saturday, May 22, at the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, attendance for the 2021 Academic Awards Celebration is limited to honorees and their registered family members. The public is encouraged to view the awards ceremony broadcast at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 29, or 10 a.m. Sunday, May 30, on OETA Public Television.

Stone Yang
Congratulations to the 2021 Academic All-Staters and 2020-21 Medal for Excellence-winning educators! This year’s honorees will be recognized at the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic Awards Celebration May 22 in Tulsa. The celebration has been described as the “Academy Awards of public education” in Oklahoma.

Photo Highlights from the 2019 Academic Awards Banquet