Bill Sanders is recognized as "a teacher, an advocate, an innovator, and a skilled practioner." Additionally, it stated that "regarded internationally as a highly skilled and knowledgeable fossil preparator, Bill's lasting legacy spans beyond the specimens he has prepared and the research he has conducted. His efforts to elevate the preparation community by mentoring students and professionals, disseminating knowledge through numerous platforms, and advancing standards within the field are precisely the ideals that the Amaral Legacy Award was created to honor."

The nomination was supported by letters from Drs. Ron Tykoski, Jason Head, Amber Heard-Booth, Ken Angielczyk, Michelle Stocker, Doug Boyer, and Mr. Joe Groenke, all of whom began their careers in vertebrate paleontology working in the UMMP fossil vertebrate preparation lab.