Give to the UW

2018 Gates Volunteer Service Award

The Gates Volunteer Service Award is presented annually by the University of Washington and the UW Foundation to recognize and honor individuals whose extraordinary volunteer efforts have encouraged others to support the UW through time, service and philanthropy. First presented in 2002, the award follows the tradition of the longstanding UW Recognition Award, initiated in 1976. The GVSA is one of the most distinguished accolades bestowed by the UW and is presented at the annual Recognition Gala in the fall.

Gates Volunteer Service Award guidelines

  • The award is presented to a recipient who meets the following criteria:
    • A longterm volunteer commitment to the University of Washington and by their direct involvement have supported the UW through their time, service and philanthropy
    • Their volunteer efforts have encouraged others to similarly support the UW
    • Nominees from UW Bothell or UW Tacoma will be accepted, but they would need to have made a significant contribution on the Seattle campus as well
  • The GVSA may be awarded to someone who previously received the UW Recognition Award (1976–2002).
  • In considering the merit of the nominee’s time, service and philanthropy, the impact to the University of Washington is paramount.
  • Nominations are carried forward for one year and reconsidered along with the current year nominations.
  • The GVSA honors, recognizes, acknowledges and thanks our greatest volunteers in ways that are meaningful to them. It is not intended to be a posthumous award.
  • The recipient of the GVSA will be announced on the Gala invitation.
  • If desired by the recipient, they will also be honored at a UW football game.
  • The recipient will be determined by a majority vote of the Gates Volunteer Service Award Committee using written ballots.
  • GVSA committee members must be present to vote.

The following are NOT eligible for GVSA consideration

  • Current member (or a family member of a current member) of the Board of Regents
  • Current officer (or a family member of a current officer) of the UW Foundation Board (i.e., chair, vice chair, immediate past chair, treasurer, secretary, UW Foundation president)
  • Current member (or a family member of a current member) of the Gates Volunteer Service Award Committee
  • Family member of the Gates family
  • Current General Campaign chairs of any active UW campaign

Note: These guidelines have been agreed to by members of the Gates Volunteer Service Award Committee (formerly known as the Award & Recognition Committee) at various meetings since 2002.


The nomination period for the 2018 GVSA closed on March 31. If you have any questions, please contact gvsa@uw.edu.