Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Award

The Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor award is the highest honor faculty can bestow on a colleague. This award was first presented in 1957-58 and has been presented annually ever since. The award was known as the Distinguished Professor award until 1981 when it was re-named in honor of the late Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert O. Lawton. At that time past recipients also were designated Lawton Distinguished Professors.


Selection Criteria


The Robert O. Lawton distinguished professor is chosen from the ranks of those teaching at Florida State University. The screening committee will make its recommendations on the basis or major contributions to teaching, research, or creative endeavors which have been made by the faculty member during his/her career at Florida State University. To be eligible for this award, the faculty member must be a tenured professor, have been at the University at least 12 years and, above all, have achieved true distinction in his/her discipline or profession. Although scholarly distinction is the primary qualification, evidence of quality teaching, including the directing of graduate research and service to the University and the academic community at large should be emphasized.


Year 2020-Present Recipient Field
2020-21 Sharon Nicholson Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science
2021-22 Jorge Piekarewicz Physics
  Gary Taylor English


Year 2010-2019 Recipient Field
2010-11 Thomas E. Joiner Psychology
2011-12 Jawole Willa Jo Zollar Dance
2012-13 Naresh S. Dalal Chemistry & Biochemistry
2013-14 Shridhar K. Sathe * Nutrition, Food & Exercise Sciences
2014-15 Mark A. Riley Physics
2015-16 Max Gunzburger Scientific Computing
2016-17 Joseph B. Schlenoff Chemistry & Biochemistry
2017-18 Jeffrey Chanton Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Science
2018-19 Pamela L. Perrewé Business Administration
2019-20 Timothy Cross National High Magnetic Field Laboratory
Chemistry & Biochemistry


Year 2000-2009 Recipient Field
2000-01 Christopher K. W. Tam Mathematics
2001-02 Nancy H. Marcus* Oceanography
2002-03 Kirby W. Kemper Physics
2003-04 David Kirby English
2005-06 Jayne Standley Music
2006-07 Alan G. Marshall Chemistry & Biochemistry
2007-08 Walter R. Tschinkel Biological Science
2008-09 Stanley E. Gontarski English
2009-10 Richard K. Wagner Psychology


Year 1990-1999 Recipient Field
1990-91 Donald Robson Physics
1991-92 Nancy Smith Fichter Dance
  E. Imre Friedmann* Biological Science
1992-93 James C. Smith Psychology
1993-94 Jayaram Sethuraman Statistics
1994-95 Kurt G. Hofer* Biological Science
1995-96 Janet G. Burroway English
1996-97 Joseph Travis Biological Science
1997-98 DeWitt Sumners Mathematics
1998-99 Myles Hollander Statistics
1999-00 James J. O'Brien* Meteorology & Oceanography


Year 1980-1989 Recipient Field
1980-81 Harry M. Walborsky* Chemistry
1981-82 Robert Gilmer* Mathematics
1982-83 Robert M. Gagne* Ed Research, Dev, & Foundations
1983-84 J. Herbert Taylor* Biological Science
1984-85 Leo Mandelkern* Chemistry
  Frank Proschan* Statistics
1985-86 T.N. Krishnamurti* Meteorology
1986-87 Daniel Simberloff Biological Science
1987-88 Werner Herz* Chemistry
1988-89 Clifford K. Madsen Music
1989-90 Richard L. Greaves* History


Year 1970-1979 Recipient Field
1970-71 Ralph Allan Bradley* Statistics
1971-72 Lloyd Mumbauer Beidler* Biological Science
1972-73 Kellogg Wesley Hunt* English
1973-74 I. Richard Savage* Statistics
1974-75 Daniel Ralph Kenshalo* Psychology
1975-76 Richard Gordon Fallon* Theatre
1976-77 Elena Nikolaidi* Music
1977-78 Richard L. Rubenstein* Religion
1978-79 Seymour L. Hess* Meteorology
1979-80 George M. Harper* English


Year 1960-1969 Recipient Field
1960-61 Ernest Max Grunwald* Chemistry
1961-62 Wiley Lee Housewright* Music
1962-63 Michael Kasha* Chemistry
1963-64 Dorothy Lois Breen Hoffman* Modern Languages
1964-65 Carlisle Floyd, Jr. Music
1965-66 Betty Monaghan Watts* Food and Nutrition
1966-67 Raymond K. Sheline* Chemistry
1967-68 Gregory R. Choppin* Chemistry
1968-69 Eugene D. Nichols* Mathematics Education
1969-70 Earl Frieden* Chemistry


Year 1957-1959 Recipient Field
1957-58 William Hudson Rogers* English
1958-59 Marian Doris Irish* Government
1959-60 Anna Forbes Liddell* Philosophy


* Deceased faculty member

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