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Nominations Open for Florida Citizen of the Year & Young Floridian Award


Due to requests for extensions from several nominators, the application deadline will be extended from Friday, March 20, to Monday, April 20, 2020.


Former Governor and United States Senator Bob Graham and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida have established the Bob Graham Center Florida Citizen of the Year and Young Floridian Award. These awards recognize individuals who have made substantial contributions to the state of Florida both professionally and civically.

Nominations for the 2020 Florida Citizen of the Year and the 2020 Young Floridian Award are now open. The deadline to submit nominations has been extended from Friday, March 20, 2020 to Monday, April 20, 2020 at noon (EDT).


1. Individuals nominated must be a Floridian, residing in the state for at least the last five years. An exception to the five-year rule can be made for a lifelong Young Floridian who simply left the state for graduate school and has returned to a career in Florida.

2. Individuals nominated for each award should exhibit a commitment to the common good and a dedication to making Florida a better place to live and work.

3. The Young Floridian is defined as someone under the age of 40 and over the age of 18 by the nomination deadline (April 20, 2020). The Florida Citizen of the Year can be of any age.

4. Anyone holding public office, including full-time appointed office, or currently campaigning for office, will not be considered.

5. The Young Floridian and Florida Citizen of the Year awards will not be presented posthumously.

Nomination Instructions

  1. Nominators should provide a letter (up to three pages) explaining why the nominee warrants selection. Nominations can come from any source, but should not be self-nominated.
  2. Candidates are judged based on the following:
    • A record of professional and public distinction.
    • Contributions to the state of Florida in a civic capacity outside or above the requirements of professional duty, i.e., someone who has been actively involved in their community and not simply served on numerous boards and donated monies.
    • Demonstrated commitment to a society that is free from bias and discrimination and celebrates diversity.
  3. Nomination letters should include the following:
    • Specification for which award you are nominating a candidate.
    • The age of the Young Floridian Award nominee.
    • The contact information for the nominee and the nominator.
  4. The nomination deadline is Monday, April 20, 2020 at noon (EDT). Please submit your nomination letter with your contact info, as well as the nominee’s, via email to Sherry Feagle, Logistics Coordinator at

Please note: Nominees will not be considered until all information is submitted in full. For more information about these awards and the Graham Gathering, please contact Marianne Vernetson, Associate Director, at or (352) 273-1080.

Announcement and Award Recognition

1. Winners will be recognized at the Bob Graham Center’s Annual Gathering. The event is postponed from its original date on May 6, 2020, and will be rescheduled for an as-yet determined date in this Fall.

2. As part of the selection and recognition process, award winners will be featured in a video and invited to address those attending the Center’s Annual Gathering.

3. Winners will receive a framed award and their name will be permanently enshrined on a plaque at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service in Pugh Hall at the University of Florida.