President Wilson Presents the President's Medal to UMass Lowell Alumnus Charles J. Hoff
During an "unforgettable" evening at Boston Symphony Hall, President Jack M. Wilson presented the University's highest honor - The University of Massachusetts President's Medal - to UMass Lowell alumnus and University benefactor Charles J. Hoff.
The concert featured Grammy Award-winning singer Natalie Cole, a 1972 UMass Amherst graduate and 1993 honorary degree recipient, who expressed her pleasure at performing in front of a UMass audience. To the delight of the UMass crowd, Cole recalled that one of her first performances took place in the Campus Center at UMass Amherst.
Other performances included the singing of The Star Spangled Banner by the reigning Miss Massachusetts Valerie Amaral, a UMass Dartmouth student, as well as presentations by UMass Boston alumnus Andrew Kohji Taylor, an internationally acclaimed violinist, The Dragon Club from UMass Boston, The UMass Amherst Gospel Choir, UMass Lowell's Pep Band and harpist Candice McElroy of the UMass Medical School.
Attending the concert were University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Chairman Robert J. Manning and other members of the Board, along with all five UMass chancellors: Thomas W. Cole, Jr., of UMass Amherst, J. Keith Motley of UMass Boston, Jean F. MacCormack of UMass Dartmouth, Martin T. Meehan of UMass Lowell and Michael F. Collins of the UMass Medical School in Worcester.
In presenting the award to Mr. Hoff, President Wilson said, "I am very pleased to award the President's Medal to Charles J. Hoff, a distinguished University of Massachusetts alumnus and successful entrepreneur who has continually shown his dedication to the University and all of its campuses.
"Despite the demands on his time as a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Charlie has always maintained strong and close ties with the University," President Wilson said. "Most notable among his many commitments to the University, Charlie and his family established the largest privately funded scholarship in the history of UMass. The Charles J. Hoff Scholarship Program has provided financial assistance to more than 1,000 students since 1991, serving 145 students each year across all five of our campuses. This year, Charlie established an endowment that will ensure that his commitment to helping promising students fulfill their educational goals is supported in perpetuity. The Hoffs are among the most generous donors to the University and we are grateful for their support of current and future UMass students."
The Hoff family's $3 million commitment last year brought their lifetime giving to the University to $5.5 million and helped to establish the Charles J. Hoff Scholarship Program as the largest privately financed scholarship program in the University's history.
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.
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