Since 1953, UPCEA has recognized its members' outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.
The Association Awards Program includes recognition of both individual and institutional achievement across the UPCEA membership.
At the 1953 Annual Conference of the National University Extension Association (NUEA), which was the forerunner of UPCEA, Robert Browne of the University of Illinois gave a speech honoring Tom Shelby, retiring Dean of the Division of Extension at the University of Texas. Browne conferred on Shelby the FX Key in honor of service to extension. Engraved on the key was "Fellow of Extension," the year, and the Association's initials. This was the first recognition award given by the Association.
Since 1953, the Association's Awards Program as grown to include Association-wide, Regional, and Network awards. Through these awards, UPCEA recognizes its members' outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.
The University Professional & Continuing Education Association’s Marketing, Enrollment, and Student Services Network sponsors an annual competition—the UPCEA Marketing Awards — to recognize the best marketing practices and promotional pieces in the field of professional, continuing, and online education. We invite Association members to enter their finest work for the academic year in the awards competition. The entries are reviewed by a panel of marketing, communication, and design professionals. Winners are chosen and announced at the end of August.
Each of the five regions host their individual awards programs, recognizing outstanding achievement to those institutions and individuals in their own region.