Student Activism Award

UW–Madison has a rich history of student activism. The 1969 Black Student Strike that resulted in the creation of what is now the Department of Afro-American Studies, as well as protests throughout the 1990s focused on UW’s treatment of LGBTQ+ students are just a few examples of this rich history that has continually propelled us forward as an institution. For decades, students have advocated for policy change and resource allocation to ensure UW is a campus that lives up to it’s values and fosters an inclusive community and equitable educational experience.

Student activism is crucial to our campus’ growth and it is highly deserving of recognition. Indeed, activism is a key pathway of public service and allows students to engage in multiple methods of civic engagement through activities such as organizing, policy change, or advocacy. As such, the Morgridge Center for Public Service is pleased to offer this newly developed award that seeks to recognize student activists and their impact on our campus in the current moment — not just years later in a historical reflection, as is often the case.

This award honors the efforts of individual students or student groups who pursue activism as a means of improving the campus community in some way, shape or form. Activism can look like many things, from calls for policy change, to awareness raising, and community building.

The application is closed.

This award offers a $400 one time scholarship to an individual or student group* that skillfully and equitably engages in student activism.

*The distribution of the award to student groups requires consultation with the Morgridge Center to determine equivalent distribution options. Individuals seeking to nominate a non-registered student organizations are highly encouraged to select one member of their organization to act as the nominee. This allows us to best coordinate an equitable payment.

2021: UW–Madison BIPOC Coalition

No Award Recipient Selected in 2022


The Be the Change Bash is the Morgridge Center’s annual end-of-the-semester celebration. The Bash honors students, staff, faculty and community partners who contribute their time and talents to both the community and the UW-Madison campus through service.

The event also includes the Morgridge Center’s annual award ceremony.