Salutes to Excellence

Salutes to Excellence is an outreach program that gives ACS local sections, technical divisions, regional meetings, and national committees an opportunity to underscore outstanding accomplishments or achievements of service by external partners who have made a positive impact on everyday life or who have helped contribute to greater public awareness of chemistry. Since the program began in 2000, more than 500 honorees have received Salutes to Excellence awards.


About the award

  • Honorees may be a practitioner of chemistry, product of chemistry or a place of importance in chemistry within their communities.
  • The ACS local section, technical division, regional meeting, or national committee will organize an award ceremony or event to present the commemorative plaque(s) to the honoree(s). All plaques are provided by the Committee on Community Activities and the Office of Science Outreach.
  • The plaque is designed to frame a printed certificate, which should identify the achievement and explain its significance. You may use one of the templates provided, editing it as necessary, or simply create one of your own.

Requesting a Salutes to Excellence plaque

1. Choose an honoree or honorees.

Honorees may be partners, products, and organizations that contribute to greater awareness of chemistry with the public.

The program is NOT to be used for recognizing your ACS group’s officers or members for their service to your group. For that purpose, ACS has volunteer recognition products available for purchase from the ACS Store.

For example, the New York Local Section recognized the New York Hall of Science, IBM, and PepsiCo for their platinum sponsorship and outstanding contribution to the Section’s 2019 IYPT project, “Constructing a Giant 3-D Periodic Table for Display at the New York Hall of Science,” and their exemplary leadership in advancing STEM, promoting chemistry, and inspiring future scientists especially through National Chemistry Week.

2. Get approval from your official ACS group’s executive committee before contacting the honoree(s).

Eligible ACS groups include local sections, technical divisions, regional meetings, or national committees.

3. Request a Salutes to Excellence plaque by completing the Salutes Request Form.

All requests must be received at least thirty (30) days prior to the date scheduled for the presentation of the award. Requests received short of the 30 days processing requirement may be subject to "rush delivery" charges.

Each ACS group may request up to five plaques per year at no cost and within the 30-day nomination processing time. Additional awards are available at cost of the plaque plus shipping. Any costs incurred for "rush delivery" requests will be billed to your ACS group.

All requests will be evaluated within 48 hours by the Committee on Community Activities. If your request does not meet the criteria of the program, it will be denied. The Committee on Community Activities may request additional information to make their final decision of approval.


Planning a Salutes celebration

1. Prepare the plaque

If you are granted approval of your Salutes Request, you will receive a confirmation email and a commemorative plaque will be sent to you within four weeks of your submission.

The plaque is designed to frame your printed certificate, which should identify the achievement and explain its significance. Consider using one of these certificate templates for excellent practitioners, products, or places:

2. Organize a planning group for your celebration.

The planning group may include as broad a representation of the community as you wish. The committee should include a representative for the product or place being honored and the public relations chair or equivalent person from your ACS group.

3. Plan the celebration.

Consider planning one of the following types of celebrations for presenting your Salutes to Excellence award(s):

  • Award ceremony with appropriate dignitary and brief informative talks
  • Tour of excellent place or site and reception
  • Breakfast, luncheon, or dinner with a featured speaker
  • Special event at a science museum featuring career information
  • Exhibit at a public venue such as a shopping mall, library, or park
  • Special local section meeting highlighting achievement
  • Other activities, such as a poster contest related to chemistry or feature hands-on activities as part of a NCW or CCEW celebration

4. Recognize the honoree(s).

Whatever your celebration might be, involving community members in the event will create an effective outreach opportunity for promoting chemistry.

Send newspaper articles, letters of appreciation, event pictures, and other digital materials from your celebration to salutes@acs.org.