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Alumna Natalie Cole to Perform at UMass Night at the Pops on May 8

UMass Lowell alumnus Charlie Hoff Will Receive University President's Medal

BOSTON-The University of Massachusetts today announced that the University community will celebrate "UMass Night at the Pops 2008" at Boston Symphony Hall, May 8, with Grammy -winning artist and UMass Amherst alumna Natalie Cole '73, '93H joining Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops for the event.

Cole, who graduated from UMass Amherst in 1973 with a degree in psychology and later received an honorary degree, will be the evening's special guest performer.

Prior to the start of the concert, University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson will present the university's highest honor, the President's Medal, to entrepreneur, University benefactor and former UMass Trustee Charles J. Hoff

Hoff, who earned his bachelor's degree at UMass Lowell in 1966, and his wife Josephine have established the largest privately financed scholarship program in the University's history.  Since 1991, Hoff Scholarships have provided support to more than 1,000 deserving students. The $10 million endowed Charles J. Hoff Scholarship Program established in 2007 will assist 145 University of Massachusetts students each year across all five UMass campuses. Hoff's distinguished contributions to the University also include nine years on the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees and serving as an executive member of the University of Massachusetts Foundation Board of Governors. 

"Charles Hoff's generosity has opened the gates of opportunity for generations of UMass students," said University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson. "He is a shining example of an alumnus who has found countless ways to give back to an institution that has meant so much to him and means so much to so many families here in the Commonwealth," Wilson added.

"On behalf of the University's Board of Trustees, I would like to add my thanks and congratulations to Charles J. Hoff for his generous support of our alma mater and for the inspiration that he has given me to pursue a life-long relationship with the University of Massachusetts," said Robert J. Manning, Chairman of the University's Board of Trustees.

Prior to the concert, the following UMass-affiliated performing artists representing the University's five campuses will entertain the guests:

  • The UMass Amherst Gospel Choir
  • UMass Boston violinist Andrew Kohji Taylor
  • Miss Massachusetts Valerie Amaral, a UMass Dartmouth student
  • The UMass Lowell Pep Band
  • Harpist Candice McElroy, a student at UMass Medical School

More than 2,200 alumni, students, faculty, administrators and friends of the University's five campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and Worcester are expected to attend the event.

Previous recipients of the University of Massachusetts President's Medal include: U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy; former General Electric Chairman and CEO Jack Welch, an alumnus of the Amherst campus; Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, an alumnus of the Boston campus; the late Massachusetts Congressman John Joseph Moakley, University of Massachusetts Medical School benefactors Jack and Shelley Blais and 2006 Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Craig C. Mello, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The University of Massachusetts was established through a land grant in 1863 as the Massachusetts Agricultural College. With campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell and a Medical School in Worcester, the University's annual research expenditures reach $400 million and more than 60,000 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled in degree programs across all academic disciplines. More than 225,000 of the University's 376,000 alumni live in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Robert P. Connolly, 617.287.7073


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Robert P. Connolly
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