The following awards are presented at the annual Finkbine Dinner:

Hancher-Finkbine Medallion

To recognize leadership, learning, and loyalty, the tradition of awarding Hancher-Finkbine Medallions was established in 1964. They are named for the founder of the Finkbine Dinner, William O. Finkbine, and for Virgil M. Hancher, a student guest at the first dinner who served for 24 years as president of the University, and who, to an unusual degree, exemplified the three characteristics for which the awards are given. Four outstanding students, one professor, and one staff are chosen for the award annually, and a graduate who has attained special distinction.

Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award

The Philip G. Hubbard Human Rights Award was established in 1981 by President Willard L. Boyd in honor of Vice President Philip Hubbard, one of the faculty representatives on the first UI Human Rights Committee. The award is given to the students who has made the most outstanding contributions to the advancement of human rights in keeping with the University's commitment to human rights and to equal opportunity and access to all in the preceding year. Beginning in 2012 the award may be given annually to one undergraduate and one graduate/professional student. The award consists of a plaque and a $1,500 scholarship to be applied toward the student's educational costs. The recipients are chosen each spring by the Human Rights Committee.

Distinguished Student Leader Award

The Distinguished Student Leader Awards are selected by the Finkbine Dinner Committee to recognize students who have exhibited meritorious qualities in learning, leadership and loyalty. Recipients are nominated by student organizations and collegiate deans.

Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Award

The Robert F. Ray Faculty Award was established by President Willard L. Boyd in honor of Dean Robert F. Ray, The University of Iowa faculty representative to the Big Ten Conference. Dean Ray served as faculty representative from 1956 until his death in 1982. This award is presented annually to one male and one female senior student-athlete who have completed eligibility and have demonstrated outstanding academic excellence, athletic excellence, and leadership. Recipients who pursue a graduate or professional degree at The University of Iowa and have not exhausted their athletic grant-in-aid may also receive an Iowa tuition grant up to $1,000 to be used within three years of receiving the award. 

M. L. Huit Faculty Award

The Marion L. Huit Faculty Award was established in 1978 to recognize M. L. Huit's outstanding dedication and service to students of The University of Iowa during his tenure as dean of students. The award is presented annually to a faculty member who best characterizes M. L. Huit's contributions to University and community life. Dean Huit exemplified the qualities of dedication to, concern for, and interaction with students. The recipient is chosen each spring by the members of Mortar Board and ODK honor societies.

James N. Murray Faculty Award

The James N. Murray Award was established by the Beta Iota Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa in 1985 in honor of the late James N. Murray, UI professor and past chair of the Department of Political Science. Professor Muray was also an ODK alum. The Murray Award is designed to honor an untenured faculty member, typically a younger scholar with less than six years of UI service, who has demonstrated outstanding rapport with students and who creates an exemplary classroom atmosphere.

The Finkbine Dinner

The first annual dinner for representative Iowa men was held February 21, 1917, with William O. Finkbine, 1878A, 1880L, of Des Moines, and Carl Kuhnle, 1881A, 1882L, of Denison, as hosts. In 1921 the first annual dinner for representative Iowa women, the Good-Will Dinner, was held with Dorothy Finkbine Sauers (daughter of W.O.) and her aunts Emilie and Marie Stapp of Massachusetts as hostesses. In 1972 the dinners were combined and designated the Finkbine Dinner of Representative Students. The purpose of the dinners was to enable the hosts and hostesses to become acquainted with each generation of campus leaders and for these leaders to know each other, all to the end of cementing firm and lasting ties to the University. So successful did he believe these dinners to be, Mr. Finkbine provided an endowment to perpetuate them.

To these dinners have come each year students chosen as campus leaders, those who have attended Finkbine Dinners in previous years, the president, deans, and other members of the University. Speeches are few, but conversation is predominant in the proceedings.

Mr. Finkbine hoped that the leaders of The University of Iowa’s constituencies: students, faculty, administration, and alumni would, on these occasions, come to have a better understanding of one another’s diverse interests and of their mutual concern for the traditions and vitality of the University.


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