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 $5.1 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.

Awards will be presented at the foundation’s 36th Academic Awards Celebration on May 21, 2022, at the Omni Hotel in Oklahoma City and televised statewide on OETA.

Nominations Now Open

Nominations are now being accepted for 2022 Academic All-State Scholarships honoring 100 of Oklahoma’s top public high school seniors and Oklahoma Medal for Excellence Awards recognizing five innovative public-school educators.

Go to Academic All-State Nominations Guidelines and the Nomination Portal. All-State nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2.

Go to Medal for Excellence Nomination Guidelines and the Nomination Portal. Medal for Excellence nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Photo Highlights from the 2021 Academic Awards Celebration