In the early 1970's, Alumni Council members expressed both surprise and satisfaction in the variety of careers represented among the alumni. The Council and Dr. William Summerscales initiated the Distinguished Alumni Awards Program to broadcast this breadth and variety.
Teachers College's 90,000 graduates include leading educators, psychologists, administrators, and other professionals. The Alumni Council honors the College's most extraordinary alumni each year with the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Early Career Award. In 2010, TC President Susan Fuhrman added the President's Medal of Excellence as an additional way for the College to recognize exemplary alumni.