The Presidential Award was conceived as a way to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the Association and/or the profession. The awardees are chosen by the CLA President in consultation with the Executive Committee and are usually presented during the presidential address. The list of past recipients includes the founder of the College Language Association, several outstanding teachers, the longtime editor of CLAJ, writers and actors, and several former presidents of the Association, again persons who have made significant, longstanding contributions.

Past Recipients

Year Recipient Rationale  
2016 Geneva Hampton Baxter Distinguished Service  
2012 Cason Hill Distinguished Service, Past CLAJ Editor  
2009 Marvin Lewis Scholar, Educator Columbia, MO
2005 Marie Buncombe-Dodd Distinguished Service, Educator Brooklyn, NY
2005 Eleanor Q. Tignor Distinguished Service, Educator Long Island City, NY
2003 James J. Davis Distinguished Service, Educator Washington, DC
2000 Dolan Hubbard Scholar, Educator Baltimore, MD
1998 Virginia Nyabongo Educator Nashville, TN
1997 Hugh Morris Gloster Scholar, Educator, Humanist Atlanta, GA
1996 Maya Angelou Writer, Poet, Actress Winston-Salem, NC
1995 Douglass Turner Ward Playwright, Actor, Director, Writer Baton Rouge, LA