PLEASE NOTE- The 2020 OADI Honors Awards Ceremony is canceled due to the Coronavirus. 

The Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives is committed to finding new ways to celebrate and honor Senior's academic journey over the past four years. We are looking into ways for you to share your story, connect with fellow Seniors, and celebrate your significant accomplishments. Please stay tuned for more information and check the following website for updates https://oadi.cornell.edu/oadi-events/oadi-annual-events/oadi%20honors.html

Toni Morrison Award for Graduate Mentorship

The Toni Morrison Award for Graduate Mentorship recognizes a Graduate Students Mentoring Undergraduates (GSMU) Mentor or OADI Graduate Assistant.


  • Demonstrate outstanding contributions to their mentees/OADI, their academic department, and the university community
  • Go beyond their role to promote diversity, scholarship and professional development
  • Balance their own educational goals and their desire to help underrepresented students succeed
  • Are currently enrolled at Cornell and are currently a part of GSMU or a OADI Graduate Assistant


Toni Morrison (M.A. 1955) earned her master's degree in English. She held lectureships and academic chairs at universities across the U.S. (including Cornell) and in Europe, and she was a senior editor at Random House for 20 years. Her honors include the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and the National Book Critics Award in 1978. In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The 2018-19 winner was Elsbeth Kane. 

Nominate someone for the Toni Morrison Award here