Distinguished Alumni Award

WILLIE NILE (ROBERT NOONAN)

WILLIE NILE (ROBERT NOONAN), BA ’71
After graduating from UB, Noonan didn't question what to do next. He knew he wanted to make music—so he moved to New York City and took on the name Willie Nile. 

After graduating from UB, Noonan didn't question what to do next. He knew he wanted to make music—so he moved to New York City and took on the name Willie Nile. Since then he has released 12 critically acclaimed studio albums, multiple live albums and built a loyal international fan base. He won Best Rock Album of The Year at the 2013 and 2014 Independent Music Awards for "The Innocent Ones" and "American Ride.” His song “One Guitar” won Best Social Action Song. His 2016 album World War Willie appeared on numerous year-end Top 10 lists. He has toured across the U.S. with The Who and has performed with Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Lucinda Williams and Richard Thompson. A Buffalo native, Nile was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2005. 

Distinguished Alumni Awards and International Distinguished Alumni Awards

These awards are given in recognition of exceptional career accomplishments, community or university service, and research and scholarly activity.