James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award

This award was established in 1980 to honor an individual who “helps preserve the most basic freedom of all, the freedom to seek and communicate truth”. Supported by a contribution from former Regent Ed Schwartzkopf, the award is given by the Faculty Senate based upon a nomination by the James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award Committee.


To be eligible to receive the award, a person must have been connected to UNL at the time the actions listed in support of the nomination were performed. These actions may have supported academic freedom at UNL or outside it. For purposes of consideration for this award, a position in the NU Administration or on the Board of Regents would qualify as a connection to UNL. That the referenced actions were undertaken in association with some organization or in some role outside UNL does not disqualify a candidate.


Nominations will be assessed on the basis of the significance of the nominee's acts which support, defend, explain, or apply the principles of academic freedom. The acts need not be individually of great import, but, when taken as a whole, they should indicate significant continued support of academic freedom. Generally, the Committee looks for persons whose efforts extend beyond the assertion and defense of their own personal intellectual freedom and support academic freedom more generally at UNL or in the academy as a whole.

Past Lake Award Recipients from CASNR

Full Award History Nomination Form

1998Mary McLean BeckAnimal Science
1988Dermot P. CoyneHorticulture
1984R. Burt MaxcyFood Science & Technology