About the Cherry Award

The Cherry Award program is designed to honor great teachers, to stimulate discussion in the academy about the value of teaching, and to encourage departments and institutions to value their own great teachers. The recipient of the Cherry Award will receive a prize of $250,000 and will teach in residence at Baylor University during the 2024 fall or 2025 spring semester; travel expenses and a furnished apartment will be provided. To further Baylor University's commitment to great teaching, the award recipient's home department will receive $25,000.

The Award Process

Three finalists will be chosen from the field of nominees. Nominations should correspond with academic units engaged in undergraduate teaching at Baylor. Each finalist will receive $15,000 and will be invited to present a series of lectures at Baylor University in the fall of 2021. Finalists will present a Cherry Award Lecture on their home campuses as well. In addition, the home department of the finalists will receive $10,000 to foster the development of pedagogical skills. The recipient of the Cherry Award, announced in Spring 2022, will thus receive a total of $265,000, and $35,000 for his or her home department.

Selection Criteria

The Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching honors outstanding professors in the English-speaking world who are distinguished for their ability to communicate as classroom teachers. Individuals nominated for the award should have a proven record as an extraordinary teacher with a positive, inspiring, and long-lasting effect on students, along with a record of distinguished scholarship.


THE ROBERT FOSTER CHERRY AWARD for Great Teaching was created by Robert Foster Cherry, who earned his A.B. from Baylor University in 1929. He enrolled in the Baylor Law School in 1932 and passed the Texas State Bar Examination the following year. With a deep appreciation for how his life had been changed by significant teachers, he made an exceptional estate bequest to establish the Cherry Award program to recognize excellent teachers and bring them in contact with Baylor University students. The first Robert Foster Cherry Award was made in 1991 and has since been awarded biennially.

The Award Committee

The Cherry Award Committee at Baylor University is composed of leading academics from across the campus. Their intention is to continue to build the prominence of the Cherry Award as the most significant honor for an individual who has a proven record for extraordinary teaching. Mr. Cherry described such a teacher as a lover of the acquisition of learning who can inspire his students, arouse their imagination, and stimulate their curiosity to desire to learn everything that man can know, and achieve everything that man can reach and grasp.