Awarded to an alumnus or alumna whose professional accomplishments and achievements are exceptionally noteworthy and distinctive in his/her profession.

By academic training, Jim Hall is a student of music, theology, and American civilization.

An honors student at Bucknell, he studied music and was a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity. He was president of Omicron Delta Kappa, a member of Phi Eta Sigma, and president of SAGO. He also was active with student government, the University Players, Mixed Chorus, and Chapel Choir.

After graduation, he received a master's degree in sacred music from Union Theological Seminary, then a master's and Ph.D. in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1966, he entered a career in academic administration after serving as a teacher of music, the humanities, and American studies. Five years later, in 1971, he was appointed the first president of the State University of New York's innovative Empire State College - an institution he helped foster from idea to operation. Organized to provide individuals from all walks of life the opportunity to earn a degree without attending traditional, structured classroom sessions at a specific campus, Empire State College is a model for higher education in this nation.
This award was presented to him by Wilma "Willy" Bauer, a member of the Class of 1959 and also a scholar and teacher in American literature.