The O. Max Gardner Award is considered the UNC System's highest faculty honor. The Gardner Award, first presented in 1949, is given annually by the UNC Board of Governors to “that member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina who, during the current scholastic year, has made the greatest contribution to the welfare of the human race.” All institutions within the UNC System are encouraged to nominate one candidate annually. All faculty members, from across all 17 constituent institutions, are eligible. Nominees can be of any rank, “including instructors, engaged in teaching in any unit, institution, or branch of service” in the UNC System.
The nomination period for this award is currently closed.
Note: Nominees from UNC Charlotte in bold were recipients of the O. Max Gardner Award that year.
- 2024: Dr. Steven Rogelberg, Professor of Psychology and Management
- 2023: Dr. Kirill Afonin, Professor of Chemistry
- 2022: Dr. Cynthia Gibas, Professor of Bioinformatics and Genomics
- 2021: Dr. Mark DeHaven, Dean W. Colvard Distinguished Professor
- 2020: Dr. Nigel Zheng, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science
- 2019: Dr. David W. Test, Professor of Special Education
- 2018: Dr. Chance Lewis, Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education
- 2017: Dr. Chance Lewis, Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education
- 2016: Dr. Richard Tedeschi, Professor of Psychology
- 2015: Dr. Pinku Mukherjee, Irwin Belk Endowed Professor of Cancer Research
- 2014: Dr. Rosemarie Tong, Professor of Health Care Ethics and of Philosophy
- 2013: Dr. David Russell, Professor of Violin
- 2012: Dr. Boyd H. Davis, Professor of English
- 2011: Dr. Diane M. Browder, Professor of Special Education
- 2010: Dr. Mark G. Clemens, Professor of Vascular and Metabolic Physiology
- 2009: N/A
- 2008: Dr. Kenneth Bost, Professor of Biology
- 2007: Dr. Mark G. Clemens, Professor of Biology
- 2006: Dr. Deborah Ryan, Professor of Architecture
- 2005: Dr. Richard B. White, Professor of Special Education and Child Development
- 2004: Dr. Rosemarie Tong, Professor of Health Care Ethics and of Philosophy