University Alumni Awards

The UNC Charlotte Alumni Association Awards were established in 1985 to recognize those who have made important contributions to the establishment and growth of UNC Charlotte; embody the core principles of the University; and have distinguished themselves through their outstanding service to the University, their chosen field, humanity and/or society. These awards honor alumni and friends whose careers have been distinguished by significant accomplishments or through extraordinary service to alumni, faculty, students, and communities, especially the underserved.

We encourage our alumni to nominate themselves, their fellow graduates, or remarkable Engineering professors for these honors. Current awards and descriptions are listed below. To submit a nomination for the 2025 class of awardees, complete the online application and email at least one supplemental document—such as a letter of recommendation or feature article about the nominee—to Please note, current faculty and staff of UNC Charlotte are only eligible to receive the Distinguished Faculty Award.

The College of Engineering’s most recent Alumni Association Award recipients are Dean Arp MSCE ’99 and Alain S. Miatudila Sr. ’03, ’12 MSCE, ’16 Ph.D., both of whom received the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dean Arp

Distinguished Alumni Award
Dean Arp ’99 MSCE

Dean Arp is president of Arp Engineering, represents Union County’s District 69 in the NC State House and currently serves as a senior chairman of the Appropriations Committee and chairman of the Energy and Public Utilities Committee. Arp was instrumental in helping the W.S. Lee College of Engineering receive funding from the state’s iniative, “Engineering North Carolina’s Future.”  He serves on the William States Lee College of Engineering Advisory Board.

View the video honoring Arp.

Alain Miatudila

Distinguished Alumni Award
Alain S. Miatudila Sr. ’03, ’12 MSCE, ’16 Ph.D.

Alain S. Miatudila Sr. is associate dean of engineering at Central Piedmont Community College and was previously a faculty associate at UNC Charlotte in the Department of Engineering Technology and Construction Management. He was recognized by the National Organization for Student Success as the 2021 Outstanding National Alumnus of a Student Success program.

View the video honoring Miatudila.

Previous College of Engineering alumni recipients include:

Donald E. Hatley, BS ’71 (Alumni Hall of Fame Award, 1994); Manuel L. Zapata, BS ’69, MBA ’72 (Alumni Hall of Fame Award, 1998); Dhiaa M. Jamil, BS ’78 (Alumni Hall of Fame Award, 2010); William T. Crowder, Jr., BS ’75 (Alumni Hall of Fame Award, 2012); Johnny R. Graham, BS ’75, MS ’83 (Alumni Hall of Fame Award, 2015); Eric Reichard, BS ’89 (Distinguished Alumnus/na Award, 2017); Victoria Watlington, MSEM ’13 (Outstanding Young Alumni Award)

Bonnie E. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award

The Bonnie E. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award is presented on occasion to alumni for extraordinary leadership and accomplishments. It recognizes alumni who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the university and community by giving generously of their time, energy and leadership. This award celebrates alumni whose outstanding accomplishments have brought honor and recognition to themselves and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is preserved for those who’ve had a transforming influence for our university and/or for their community, over a lifetime. It is the highest honor the Alumni Association bestows. To preserve the specialness of this award it is only to be given on a select and very occasional basis.

Distinguished Alumnus(na) Award

The Distinguished Alumnus(na) Award honors alumni who have made significant contributions to UNC Charlotte and its Alumni Association; dedicated service to the community, state or nation; and/or his or her career field through professional achievements. There are several criteria for selection: The extent to which the candidate embodies the values and core principals of the University, demonstrates extraordinary service to the University, their field, humanity, or society; provides community and national leadership in his/her profession, and has had a career that has garnered national and international recognition in ways that bring honor to the his or her profession and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Outstanding Young Alumnus(na)

The Outstanding Young Alumnus(na) Award honors recent graduates of UNC Charlotte (within 10 years of graduation). This award recognizes young graduates for exceptional accomplishments, achievements, and service. Candidates can be recognized for one or more of the following: professional accomplishments, contributions to the academic community, volunteer service, and local, state and national contributions.

Honorary Alumnus(na) Award

The Honorary Alumnus(na) Award recognizes outstanding individuals who, while not graduates of UNC Charlotte, have made significant contributions to its educational mission. Honorees demonstrate support of education of all students; the desire to leave their own legacy at the university; and serve as models to alumni, students, colleagues and community members.

Distinguished Faculty Award

The Distinguished Faculty Award honors those faculty members who have brought distinction to themselves, credit to their academic college and university, and benefit to their communities through their vocation. Awards recognize excellence in teaching students and/or longstanding achievements, contributions, and leadership in research or academic programs of UNC Charlotte. These members of the university community are considered to be experts in their disciplines and have demonstrated a high level of civic involvement outside of their university job responsibilities.

Humanitarian Award

The Humanitarian Award recognizes lifelong service to society or to humankind and honors those who have provided extraordinary service to their community, demonstrating leadership through global or local service. The award honors alumni and/or faculty who have fulfilled the obligations of their education through creative citizenship and exemplary service leadership in ways that benefit society and bring credit to the institution.

If you have any questions or need additional information about the annual Alumni Awards, contact the UNC Charlotte Office of Alumni Affairs.