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Guidelines for Design and Installation of Plaques

Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Advancement

Policy Type: Facilities and Property

Policy Number: 406B

Last Date Revised: 8/25/14

A plaque is a permanent display, which recognizes an individual, group or organization. The following guidelines and procedures have been developed to ensure a coordinated and cohesive approach to the placement of donor plaques in University buildings and to provide consistency in the content, design, and placement of plaques in all public space of the University. These guidelines apply to the design and installation of all plaques to be displayed in public areas of the University.


Plaques should represent and protect the integrity of Binghamton University and serve as permanent reminders of significant donations and/or contributions that foster the academic mission of the University. The following criteria are to be used in determining the appropriateness of installing a recognition plaque:

1. Recognition of distinguished members of the University community whose outstanding service warrants remembrance.

2. Recognition of a historically significant event of importance to the University community

3. Honor an individual, a group of individuals, an organization, a geographic area, or a political subdivision that has a definable and significant connection with Binghamton University's history, academic programs, research projects, public services, or development priorities.

4. A monetary contribution that significantly enhances the University's mission and purpose. Binghamton University recognizes that the level of defined significant gifts will continue to increase as the University's fund raising programs continue to mature and as actual costs associated with endowments, space, etc. increase. Minimum donation levels for recognition are set by the President’s Senior Staff and will be reviewed periodically.

Note: These guidelines and policies apply to all future plaque requests and do not affect existing plaques or prior donor recognition agreements.


1. A written request providing the following information must be submitted to the appropriate Dean and/or Vice President as early as possible prior to proposed installation. The request should include the following:

a. Person or event to be recognized

b. Plaque justification

c. Proposed wording for plaque. Note: The number of characters that will appear on a plaque is limited. Unless special approval is obtained, plaques are limited to: "Gift of...", "In honor of...", or "In memory of...”

d. Proposed location and placement of plaque

e. Proposed installation date

f. Notification of a planned plaque unveiling event/reception (if appropriate)

2. Following concurrence of the Dean and/or Vice President, the request will be forwarded to the Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship who shall review the application for completeness and compliance with these policies and share it with the Executive Director of the Foundation/Vice President for Advancement.

3. The Vice President for Advancement will submit recommendations to the President’s Senior Staff for final approval.

Placement, Style, Content, and Installation of Plaques

1. If architectural design permits, permanent plaques shall be installed outside the named room or area or in an area designated to recognize major donors. With approval from the President's Senior Staff, a framed non-permanent recognition parchment funded by the Dean or Unit Director may be hung inside a room.

2. Each plaque shall exhibit consistency within the designated building and reflect the architectural integrity of the building. In order to insure consistency and conformity, the Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship, in consultation with a representative from Physical Facilities, a representative from the appropriate division(s), and the architect when appropriate, and with approval of the President's Senior Staff shall establish guidelines for each building which shall specify size, fonts, materials, and design for each plaque requested.

3. Plaque installation will only occur after pledges are fully paid except under very special circumstances and with prior approval from the President.

4. Plaques recognizing other than monetary contributions will be purchased by the Vice Presidential area supporting the plaque recommendation. The Foundation will pay for the design and installation of plaques recognizing monetary contributions.

5. The University and Foundation encourage the celebration of donors who have made significant gifts to the University through plaque unveiling ceremonies and other special events; however, funding for such ceremonies are the responsibility of the school, unit, or department initiating the event.

6. Donor plaques shall not be offered or installed without obtaining prior approval in accordance with the procedures outlined above.


Last Updated: 7/27/16