Distinguished award winners may come from the following areas:
The Armed Services
The Alumnus/Alumna chosen to receive a Distinguished Award in their field must have earned one or more degrees from East Tennessee State University. He/she must also demonstrate significant accomplishments in his/her occupation and demonstrate moral and/or financial support to the university since graduation.
More than one certificate may be awarded yearly, although a Distinguished Alumni award is not given every year. Distinguished Alumni awards are presented when an alum meets all of the requirements.