HRH Princess Maria Louisa Distinguished AUBG Alumni Award for Civic Leadership and Change

An important part of the American University in Bulgaria's mission is to not only prepare its students for successful careers but to also inspire them to bring positive change on society, whether on a local or global level. The HRH Princess Maria Louisa Distinguished AUBG Alumni Award for Civic Leadership and Change aims to honor a graduate of the University who has taken this idea to heart and made an impact on the world around them. 

Think about a fellow alum who has worked for the benefit of their community or in the world and nominate them by May 7, 2019, for a chance to receive the inaugural award.


H.R.H. Princess Maria Louisa of Bulgaria is the daughter of King Boris III and Queen Giovanna. In 1991, she was the first of the royal family to revisit Bulgaria after the fall of communism. Fluent in Bulgarian, English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian, and extremely well respected among the Bulgarian émigré community in North America, Princess Maria Louisa has been tirelessly working for charity in support of Bulgarian causes in the fields of health, music, art, and education. 

She served on the AUBG board of trustees from 1999 to 2009.  After a period during which the Princess was a devoted member of the AUBG University Council, she has rejoined the board of trustees in 2017 and has continued to be an inspiring driver of change. In May 2012 Princess Maria Louisa was awarded the degree Doctor Honoris Causa of AUBG for her leadership in support of the university.

HRH Princess Maria Louisa’s AUBG Distinguished Alumni Award for Civic Leadership and Change serves to:

  • Recognize the high achievements of the AUBG alumni in driving social change through displaying civic leadership and courage in changing their communities and the world.
  • Allow AUBG to learn more about the achievements of its alumni and to share these accomplishments with the whole community both at home on campus and around the globe.
  • Bring the AUBG Alumni body and the entire AUBG Community even closer together to inspire each other and motivate an ever-growing number of courageous civic leaders and change-makers.
Selection Criteria

The AUBG Distinguished Alumni Award for Civic Leadership and Change will be awarded annually to an outstanding alumna/us:

  • who makes a significant difference in her/his local or national community or internationally by addressing one or more of the following areas:

- Fostering economic prosperity and entrepreneurship, while bringing change to the lives of the most vulnerable in the society;
- Advancing civil society and human rights;
- Working to promote tolerance and non-violence;
- Combating climate change;
- Encourage and sponsor future students for our AUBG.

  • who has brought about real change and had a positive impact on their community or the world through their leadership and work in the
    service of others through a social enterprise, a corporate social responsibility project, volunteerism, charitable work etc., within the profit, non-profit or public sector;
  • who can offer evidence of the sustainability of their contribution to the community through verifiable and/or measurable enduring positive outcomes and change.
Conditions of Nomination
  • Nominations must be submitted via the online form;
  • Nominations can be made by an AUBG alumnus/alumna, a friend of the University, a faculty member, a staff member, a member of the public, or a group of any of the above;
  • Alumni may nominate themselves. In this case at least one referee who is not the nominator is required to complete a statement to support the official nomination for the Award;
  • Staff members of the Development Office at AUBG and members of the selection committee may not be nominated;
  • University Council members or members of the Senior Executive team of AUBG may not be nominated;
  • Committee members who have any involvement in a nomination may not participate in the Committee’s deliberations and decisions regarding that nomination;
  • The decision of the committee is final and irrevocable.
Nomination Process

In accordance with the Honorary Awards procedure, the nominator must ensure the following supporting documentation is included:

Completed Online Nomination Form including:

  • Contact details of nominee and nominator (required);
  • A text explaining why the nominator believes that the nominee should receive the award (min. 150 words) (required);
  • Statement(s) from at least one referee to support the nomination who is not the nominator (optional); If the person is nominating themselves, a statement of at least one referee who is not the nominator is required.
  • Other documents to support the nomination (optional) – e.g. newspaper articles or other forms of media coverage, awards, certificates, a CV or a LinkedIn profile of the nominee, etc. (5 pages maximum).

Nominations must be submitted by Tuesday, May 7, 2019.

Nominators will receive written advice of the outcome of their nomination by May 10, 2019.

The recipient of the AUBG Distinguished Alumni Award for Civic Leadership and Change will be advised in writing of the outcome of their nomination prior to receiving an invitation to attend the AUBG Commencement Ceremony. During the ceremony, HRH Princess Maria Louisa of Bulgaria will personally, present the Award to the winner.

Nominees who are not selected as the recipient of the Alumni Award will not be notified. It is at the discretion of the Nominator as to whether or not they would like to advise the nominee of the outcome of the nomination (as many nominations are made in confidence). Nominees who self-nominate will be notified directly.

Selection Committee 

The AUBG Distinguished Alumni Award Committee reviews all nominations,
presents HRH Princess Maria-Louisa with a shortlist of candidates for the Award and makes a grounded recommendation regarding who the Award recipient should be.

The AUBG Distinguished Alumni Award Committee consists of five people: alumni, faculty and staff members of the University.

Presentation of Awards

The first AUBG Distinguished Alumni Award Civic Leadership and Change will be presented by HRH Princess Maria Louisa at the AUBG Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 19, 2019, on the AUBG Skaptopara campus.

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