Don and Shirley Wirth Young Alumni Award

This award recognizes exceptional achievements in career, public service or volunteer activities that bring honor to Oregon State University. Nominations are reviewed, and awards granted, by the OSU Alumni Association Board of Directors’ standing Awards Committee. Nominations may be submitted by alumni, friends of the university, faculty and staff members.

Eligibility Considerations:

  1. Any alumni of Oregon State University who are 35 years of age or younger during the calendar year they are honored.
  2. Must be willing to return to campus during homecoming to receive the award in person
  3. The award shall recognize individuals whose service to the university, service to their community or accomplishment in their chosen career reflects positively on all alumni and the university.

Those Ineligible For Nominations:

  1. A candidate or an elected official for any public office. 
  2. Anyone currently serving as a member of the OSU Board of Trustees, OSU Alumni Board of Directors or OSU Foundation Board of Trustees; and/or an OSU Alumni Association, OSU Foundation, INTO OSU or Oregon State University employee.

Nominations Submissions will include:

  1. Letter of nomination which includes individual's reason for nomination
  2. Current resume or vitae
  3. Original nomination form in cover page

Selecting Body:

All nominations will be reviewed by the OSUAA Awards Committee, who will make the selection.


Deadline: Feb. 23, 2024 | Nomination Form


Announcement, Time And Place Of Presentation Of Award:

  1. The Director of Alumni Relations will inform recipient after they have been selected
  2. The Director will then notify the college of the recipient when the recipient has agreed to return for the award ceremony
  3. OSUAA will consider all nominations active for three years, or until the nominee reaches the age of 35, whichever occurs first. Nominations may be updated during the three-year period.


Congratulations to the 2021 Don and Shirley Wirth Young Alumni Award Recipient - Milikaleakona“Tonga” Hopoi, ’12

Milikaleakona Hopoi, known as “Tonga,” is committed to empowering women of color, and she sets an example as a leader  who remains  true to her cultural upbringings. Chief of Staff for the Senate Majority Caucus Leader in the Hawai’i State Legislature, she has shared  her positive outlook and organization skills in many roles.  She became the first Tongan to work in the White House  as a policy intern for First Lady Michelle Obama in 2014, was appointed  as special advisor  to the Under  Secretary of Science and Energy within the Department  of Energy and served  on the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans.  The only Pacific Islander  elected president  of the Associated  Students of Oregon State University, Hopoi’s administration was essential in passing the bonds needed to fund construction of the Student Experience Center at OSU.

View Tonga Hopoi's memory book - signed by friends and family to recognize her achievements.

Donate to the Asian and Pacific Cultural Center in Tonga's honor.



Past Award Recipients

2006 - Chelsea Olsen (née Chelsea Byrd)
2007 - JJ Cadiz and Jaime Pinkham
2008 - Chad Tackett
2009 - Vincent Kimura
2010 - Jonathan C. Isaacs
2011 - Maria Kosma
2012 - Bridget Burns
2013 - Darrin Crescenzi
2015 - D'Anna Piro Foster
2016 - Jackson Dougan
2017 - Charlene McGee
2018 - Noah Strycker
2019 - Jonathan Riley