At NAFSA's 1988 annual conference, Lilian von Klemperer herself was the very first recipient of the Lily von Klemperer Award. Lily was founder of the education abroad profession during the mid-twentieth century and for years continued to be a true mainstay for the growing numbers of professionals in that new field. The inspiration, guidance, and training that Lily provided to all in education abroad is impossible to overestimate.
It was understood in 1988 that the award would eventually be presented in Lily's name at NAFSA annual conferences to worthy education abroad professionals who are seen still to have years to devote to the profession. The "LvK" Award seeks to recognize people who, like Lily, have "brought other [education abroad professionals] along" in the field and who maintain the highest standards of professional ethics while sharing their skills, knowledge, and expertise with all colleagues.