Distinguished Alumni and Faculty to Receive Top Honor at UMass Amherst Sept. 30

AMHERST, Mass - The University of Massachusetts will award Chancellor''s Medals to 10 distinguished faculty and alumni at a convocation Thurs., Sept. 30 in Bowker Auditorium. The Chancellor''s Medal is the highest honor the campus bestows on individuals and is given for exemplary and extraordinary service to the University.

A faculty procession from Memorial Hall to Bowker Auditorium in Stockbridge Hall will begin at 2:15 p.m. and the convocation follows at 2:30 p.m. The ceremonies will begin with remarks by Chancellor David K. Scott. The principal speaker is Doris Abramson, professor emeritus of theater, and a well-known figure in the local arts community. Abramson published her first book of poems, "It''s Time," this year and also recorded a compact disk of the poems of Emily Dickinson to benefit the Dickinson Homestead.

Ten medals will be awarded representing a college or school at the University or the University at large. The list of honorees follows.

Doris Abramson, At Large. Abramson grew up in Amherst and both her parents worked at what was then Massachusetts Agricultural College. She earned her bachelor''s degree from the University in 1949 and a master''s degree from Smith College in 1951. After a year teaching at Wheaton College, Abramson returned to UMass where she taught theater history and the oral interpretation of literature as a member of the English, speech, and theater departments. She earned a Ph.D. in theater history from Columbia University in 1967. Abramson retired in 1987.

Judith A. Barter, College of Humanities and Fine Arts. Barter has been a Field-McCormick Curator of American Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago since 1992. She was associate director of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College from 1986-92, and curator of collections from 1978-86. Barter was also assistant curator at the St. Louis Art Museum from 1975-78, and curatorial assistant at the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois Urbana. Barter earned her Ph.D. in cultural and social history in 1991 from UMass. She earned a bachelor''s degree in history and art history from Indiana University in 1973 and a master''s degree in art history and museum studies from the University of Illinois in 1975.

Anne L. Bryant, School of Education. Bryant is the executive director of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), a federation of 53 state and territorial organizations that seek to advance education through citizen governance of public schools. Prior to joining the NSBA in 1996, Bryant was executive director of the American Association of University Women beginning in 1986. From 1974-86, she was Distinguished alumni and faculty receive top UMass honor, vice president of the professional education division of P.M. Haeger & Associates, a Chicago management firm. Bryant earned a doctorate in education from UMass in 1978 and a bachelor''s degree from Simmons College in 1971. In 1983, Bryant received the University of Massachusetts School of Education Alumnae Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the field of education.

Ray D''Alonzo, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and School of Public Health and Health Sciences. D''Alonzo is associate director, worldwide clinical data management, at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals in Cincinnati, Ohio, and serves as primary contact between the company and the University. D''Alonzo is a charter member of the College Advisory Council for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He earned a doctorate in chemistry from UMass in 1977 and a bachelor''s degree in chemistry from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1974.

Melanie Dreher, School of Nursing. Former dean of the School of Nursing from 1988 to 1997, Dreher is currently dean and professor at the University of Iowa College of Nursing. While at UMass, Dreher is credited with creating the state''s first publicly supported doctoral program in nursing and helping secure agreement for a new building for the School of Nursing to be completed in 2003. She earned a master''s degree and doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University in 1976 and 1977 respectively, a master''s degree in anthropology from Teachers College in 1974, and a bachelor''s degree in nursing from Long Island University in 1967.

James M. Douglas, College of Engineering. Douglas taught in the UMass department of chemical engineering from 1968 until his retirement in 1998. He helped establish the Center for Processing Design and Control and has written textbooks on chemical engineering. Douglas also championed the concept that research results should be brought into the undergraduate curriculum as soon as possible. Douglas earned a bachelor''s degree in chemical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1954 and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware in 1960. He conducted postdoctoral work at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London in 1964.

Bruce Friend, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Friend is senior vice president, research and planning, MTV Networks International TV and Worldwide Feature Films. He joined MTV in 1993 after serving in management positions with The Disney Channel, Home Box Office, Telemundo, and Saatchi & Saatchi. Friend serves on the Chancellor''s Council at UMass and has been active in creating linkages between MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon and the UMass departments of communication, film studies, and art. Friend earned his bachelor''s degree in communication from UMass in 1979.

Melvin Howard, Commonwealth College/Honors Program. Howard, president and chief executive officer at Sector Management Inc., since 1993, was president and chief executive officer of Ehrlich Bober Financial Corp., from 1990-93. He was an officer at the Xerox Corporation from 1970-90, serving as vice chairman of the board of directors and chairman and chief executive officer at Xerox Financial Services, Inc. Howard has served as chairman of the Honors/Commonwealth College Alumni Advisory Board since 1996. He earned a bachelor''s degree from the University, where he participated in the Honors Program, in 1957, and a master''s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 1959.

John Maki, At Large. Maki joined the University in 1966 as chair of the Asian studies program. Before his retirement in 1980, he served as vice dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1967-69, and subsequently was active in faculty affairs. Maki was instrumental in the establishment of the sister-university tie with Hokkaido University and the Massachusetts/Hokkaido Sister-State Society. His books include a biography of William Smith Clark, the first president of the University. He earned a bachelor''s degree in English and a master''s degree in English literature from the University of Washington in 1932 and 1936 respectively. He taught Japanese history and literature at the University of Washington beginning in 1939 and later earned a doctorate in political science from Harvard University in 1948.

Paul J. McDonald, Isenberg School of Management. McDonald is senior executive vice president and chief financial officer at Friendly Ice Cream Corporation. He joined the firm in 1976. Since 1993, he has served as chairman of the Business Advisory Council at the Isenberg School of Management, and has been a member of the council since 1983. From 1970-76, McDonald was a manager with Arthur Andersen Consulting. He was a full-time faculty member at General Motors Institute, Flint, Mich., from 1968-70. McDonald earned a bachelor''s degree in economics from UMass in 1966 and a master of business administration from Rutgers University.