The William J. Stephenson Award for Outstanding Service

The Award for Outstanding Service is given each year to a member of the NSS for outstanding service to the Society and its goals. This and the Honorary Membership constitute the Society’s highest awards

The recipient this award shall be selected by the Board of Governors from candidates submitted by the Awards Committee. The Awards Committee is responsible for and limited to soliciting nominations and supporting materials from the membership for the board’s consideration, and will submit only candidates who have been members of the NSS for at least the past two years. If the recipient of the award is not already a life member, the Society will pay to the Life Membership Fund the current life membership fee to support the life membership privileges received by the recipient. The recipient will receive a certificate signed by the members of the Board of Governors.

Tips for Writing a Good Award Nomination

The William J. Stephenson Outstanding Service Award is for contributions to speleology and the NSS in particular. The nominee must be an NSS member for at least the past two years. Please note that contributions to the NSS is broadly defined as encompassing the many aspects of the NSS’s interactions with the membership, governmental agencies, land owners, education, et al. Service is a multi-faceted attribute and review of the past recipients will illustrate this. As one of the two highest awards given by the NSS, the contributions should be over a period of time and usually include a body of work. Your nomination letter should include details of the nominee's contribution to the NSS. Please do not assume that "everyone" knows your nominee and your nominee's merits. A good nomination letter should give explicit details about what the member has done over the years to benefit the society. The letter should be inclusive and filled with cause and effect. Give details about what the member has done and how it positively affected the NSS. The easiest way to obtain answers specific to your questions about your nomination is to contact the sub-chairman.