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UMass Honors Night At The Boston Pops; Mayor Menino, Philanthropists Andrew and Jinny Rudd Receive President's Medals

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and philanthropists Andrew and Jinny Rudd were awarded President's Medals by University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson tonight during the UMass Honors night at the Boston Pops. The medals are the University's highest award.

Praising this year's awardees, President Wilson said, "Mayor Menino is a builder and a healer. Mayor Menino is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and in many ways, he personifies the mission and the aspiration of the University of Massachusetts -- and that is to serve and to strive to make things better. Mayor Menino has poured his heart and soul into serving the city that he loves and we all love."

A lifelong resident of Hyde Park and the first Italian-American Mayor of Boston, Mayor Menino was elected to his first term on November 2, 1993 and before becoming Mayor served nine years as a District City Councilor. In 1988, he earned a degree in community planning from the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

"Thomas Menino is an alumnus who has made the University of Massachusetts very proud," President Wilson said.

Andrew and Jinny Rudd are California-based philanthropists whose gifts have provided funding for UMass-Amherst's soccer facility, Rudd Field, and created the Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Environmental Psychology, a chair that will explore the many issues relating to the subject of adoption.

President Wilson said: "The University and its students benefit from the tangible support that the Rudds have provided, but we also benefit by knowing that the Rudds, relatively recent friends, see the same quality, the same excellence, the same potential that we all see in the University of Massachusetts.

"Andrew and Jinny Rudd have recognized what so many of us recognize and hold true: That the University of Massachusetts is an institution that exists to make a difference, and an institution that is deeply committed to its land-grant ethos of service and excellence. We greatly appreciate their friendship, their confidence and their support."

The Rudd's daughter, Alexi Rudd, was a 2004 graduate of the University's flagship campus in Amherst.  

UMass Night at the Boston Pops has become a University tradition, an opportunity for alumni, students, faculty and friends to celebrate UMass and to recognize those who have brought honor to the University through their professional, academic and personal achievements.

In a letter, U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy -- last year's recipient of the President's Medal -- described Mayor Menino as "an impressive leader" and "an outstanding Mayor," and commended Andrew and Jinny Rudd for "their remarkable support of the University."

The list of previous University of Massachusetts President's Medal winners includes:

  • former General Electric Chairman and CEO Jack Welch
  • the late Congressman John Joseph Moakley
  • South African freedom activist and former member of the South African Parliament, Ahmed Kathrada

The concert at Symphony Hall was preceded by a reception at the University of Massachusetts Club in downtown Boston. 

Contacts:  Robert P. Connolly, 617.287.7073; William H. Wright, 617.287.7065


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Robert P. Connolly
Vice President for Strategic Communications and University Spokesperson
617.548.0238 (cell)
617.287.7073 (office)

Ann Scales
Director of Communications
617.838.3963 (cell)
617.287.4084 (office)

JoAnn Conley
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617.287.5538 (Office)

Jan Brogen
Senior Writer
617.287.4027 (Office)

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