Count Ivan Ivanovich Shuvalov (1727 -1797) was regarded as a superb representative of the enlightened elite during the 18th century. He was a genuine nobleman who regarded himself as a citizen of the world, belonging to both the Russian and European cultures. He was a firm favourite of the Russian Empress Elisabeth and was patron of the arts and sciences of that era. It should be remembered that Moscow University was founded in 1755, by the great Russian scientists Mikhail Lomonsonov and Ivan Shuvalov, their motto being "....for sake and honour of the country....."

Currently there are only two major academic awards at Moscow State University. One of these is the Shuvalov prize, awarded annually for outstanding scientific achievements, fundamental research projects and the generation of original solutions.