We believe academic talents deserve to be celebrated, in much the same way that athletic or musical talents are celebrated! The Belin-Blank Center’s annual Recognition Ceremony honors the accomplishments of high-ability students and the teachers who have made a difference in their lives.

About the Ceremony

Hundreds of qualifying students from across the country are invited annually to the Belin-Blank Center’s Recognition Ceremony.  These students may have:​

  • Earned a high score on a test through the Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS)​​
  • Completed one of our selective summer programs​​
  • Received special recognition in one of our programs​

Each honored student has the opportunity to select an educator who has had a profound impact on that student. The teacher is invited to attend the Recognition Ceremony, cross the stage with his/her student, and receive an award.

This year, the event will take place on Sunday, October 6, 2019, at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City, Iowa. Invitations are typically sent out in late summer. After considering guidelines for social distancing, whether families and teachers would be able to safely travel to campus, and the protection and wellbeing of minors on campus during a pandemic, we made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Recognition Ceremony. We hope to be able to celebrate with students who qualified for the 2020 Recognition Ceremony during the 2021 ceremony, tentatively scheduled for Sunday, Sept 26, 2021. Details coming Summer 2021.

Attending the Ceremony

The day's celebrations take place in two phases. First, the Belin-Blank Center Showcase highlights our many programs and activities, as well as select work from some of our talented students! Guests enjoy beverages and a chance to browse the opportunities they have through the Belin-Blank Center to develop their talents. Don't forget to have your picture taken with Herky the Hawk!

Following the Showcase, the students and teachers are given seats of honor at the Recognition Ceremony, while proud friends and family members watch them be honored for their achievements by the Belin-Blank Center director and University of Iowa administrators.

After the Ceremony

You can download a press release and download and print your student's certificate.

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