President's Achievement Award

The President’s Achievement Award (PAA) recognizes outstanding staff members for their exceptional dedication, outstanding contributions, and exemplary service. The PAA represents the highest level of recognition for employees on the support and administrative staffs. Award recipients are recognized by the president at the annual Service Recognition Luncheon when they receive a $2,500 monetary award and framed certificate of achievement.


Nominees must be from the administrative and related staffs, grade 1 through 8, and the biweekly A and B staffs. They also must have at least five years of service with a sustained level of exceptional performance that distinguishes them from others in how they support the University’s teaching and research mission and enhance Princeton’s capacity to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Nomination Content

Princeton’s diverse workforce comprises a broad array of occupations and competencies and, therefore, the nature of employees’ contributions are highly variable. Each nomination must incorporate any three of the following five characteristics that most effectively describe why the nominee should be recognized with the PAA. 


Demonstrates intrinsic qualities that enable the individual to excel and/or positively influence others and/or outcomes. Examples may include and are not limited to authenticity, compassion, fairness, generosity, honesty, humility, inclusivity, and/or trustworthiness.


Builds strong and productive relationships with other colleagues on a one-to-one basis or in teams to address issues, accomplish shared goals, or search for creative solutions. Has strong communication skills, is highly respectful of others, and identifies and understands mutual interests to build consensus. May mentor others or influence others to excel.


Is enthusiastic for and committed to the University’s teaching and research mission and values. Demonstrates a strong dedication to the department and/or University by embracing responsibilities. Contributes consistently beyond what is expected in supporting Princeton’s students, alumni, faculty, and staff, or other constituents; programs; and/or resources.


Performs at one’s best with integrity and good judgment. Sets a high standard by anticipating needs, taking initiative, and exceeding expectations. Is a continuous learner and always strives to do better and improve the status quo. Is highly professional and personally accountable.


Remains focused on and committed to organizational goals. Is flexible, adaptable, patient, and positive in times of change and uncertainty. Learns from and builds on past experiences to meet new challenges, recognize risks, and seize opportunities. Manages conflict ably and maintains balance. Serves as a role model whom others rely or lean on during difficult periods.

Nominations should include an opening and concluding statement. Use of testimonials that illustrate how the nominee exemplifies the chosen three characteristics is highly recommended and can strengthen the nomination. Nominations in total should not exceed three pages in length, not including the nomination form.

Individuals looking for help with writing and proofreading nominations can contact John Weeren, director of the Princeton Writes program.

Submission Process


To nominate a staff member, the current administrative office head or academic department manager submits the nomination with an endorsement from the administrative officer or academic dean, chair, or director. Any employee can recommend to an individual’s manager that the individual be nominated.


The deadline to submit the nomination Wednesday, January 9, 2019. All materials should be emailed to Jaclyn Wollett.

Length of Nomination

A nomination may include up to four pages consisting of:

Part I:

Part II:

  • Opening statement
  • Narrative that depicts three characteristics and includes specific examples of accomplishments and contributions, preferably with testimonials that illustrate each one
  • Concluding statement

For equity reasons, additional information submitted will not be taken into consideration by the Committee.

Selection Process

The President and the PAA Selection Committee select five individuals annually. Four are from the administrative and related staffs, grades 1 through 6, and the biweekly A and B staffs; one is from the administrative and related staffs, grades 7 or 8.

For more information, contact Jaclyn Wollett, 8-9149.