AMHERST, Mass. - As part of a weekend-long celebration incorporating Homecoming and the UMass Festival, the University of Massachusetts will host a special convocation Friday, Oct. 23 in Bowker Auditorium to award Chancellor''s Medals to a number of distinguished faculty and alumni. The Chancellor''s Medal is the highest honor the campus bestows on individuals, and is given for exemplary and extraordinary service to the University.
The convocation will begin with remarks by Chancellor David K. Scott. The principal speaker is UMass alumnus Jack Canfield, co-author of the best-selling series "Chicken Soup for the Soul." Eleven medals will be awarded to faculty, alumni or alumni couples, and one corporation, each representing a college or school at the University or the University at large. The honorees are:
Andrew F. Brimmer, Social and Behavioral Sciences. Raised in poverty in Louisiana, Brimmer went on to become the one of the nation''s most prominent African-American economists and a chief policy maker. He earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and was later appointed the first African-American Governor of the Federal Reserve System by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The testimony he prepared for Congress was cited in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Brimmer has taught at Harvard Business School, served as a trustee of the Ford Foundation, directed the National Chamber of Commerce, and acted as a trustee for the National Urban League. He is currently the Wilmer D. Barrett Professor of Economics at the University.
John T. "Jack" Canfield, Education. Jack Canfield''s "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series, co-authored with Mark Victor Hansen, has sold more than 25 million books, earned more than $25 million, and landed on the best-seller lists every week for three years. As CEO of "Self-Esteem Seminars," Canfield has also conducted personal and professional development seminars for nearly 750,000 people worldwide. Canfield received his master''s degree in education from UMass in 1972, and has an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He is the keynote speaker at this year''s convocation and will discuss "Reflections on the Journey."
Thomas and May Carhart, Nursing. Thomas Carhart is founder of the well-known Teddy Bear Rally in Amherst, as well as a realtor and former Air Force colonel. May Carhart is a former registered nurse. Together the two have been among the School of Nursing''s strongest supporters, helping to develop plans for a doctoral program and a new building for the school.
Helen Curtis Cole, At Large. In 1945 Cole was appointed the first Dean of Women at UMass, presiding over the fewer than 600 women students who attended the campus at that time. As dean, she worked hard to increase the numbers of female students and create for them more financial aid and greater career opportunities. She also was instrumental in beginning the University Day School, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, and the Five-College Calendar.
Titleist & Foot-Joy Worldwide, Public Health and Health Sciences. This Massachusetts-based golf and sports apparel company has enjoyed a close relationship with UMass and has helped support campus research grants, internships, and employment opportunities for University graduates.
Constantine Gilgut, Patricia (Gilgut) Johnson, and Weldon Johnson, Natural Sciences and Mathematics. In the 1930s, Gilgut received a bachelor''s degree in botany and a master''s degree in plant pathology from UMass, then went on to receive a doctorate from Harvard University. Later, Gilgut returned to UMass to teach in the department of botany and plant pathology, where he became a renowned expert in the control of crop diseases. Gilgut''s daughter Patricia (a 1964 graduate of UMass) and her husband Weldon Johnson recently established an endowed chair in Plant Pathology to honor her father.
Mary A. Carney, Humanities and Fine Arts. Carney received a bachelor''s degree in history and psychology from UMass in 1945. Later she went on to become vice president and personnel director of the Mutual Liability and Insurance Company in Wakefield, Mass. Since her retirement in 1971 she has been an active supporter of the University and has served as a board member of the UMass Foundation.
Robert C. Gunness, Engineering. Former president and vice chairman of what was then Standard Oil (now Amoco), Gunness earned his bachelor''s degree in chemistry from UMass in 1932, and later went on to get his master''s degree in chemistry and doctorate in chemical engineering from MIT. Gunness is also the son of well-known UMass engineering professor Christian Gunness. In honor of his father, he helped create the Gunness Engineering Student Center with a donation of $250,000, the largest personal gift ever made to the College of Engineering.
Eugene M. Isenberg, Management. Chairman and CEO of Nabors Industries, Isenberg is a nationally known philanthropist and has been one of the strongest supporters of the University. With his wife Ronnie, he recently made a $6-million contribution to the School of Management, the largest gift from a private donor in the 135-year history of the campus. The Isenbergs have also given the University $70,000 annually for the last five years in support of scholarships for students whose course work combines business, science, and technology. Eugene Isenberg received his bachelor''s degree from UMass in 1950.
Barry Y. Weiner, At Large. Weiner is a prominent trial lawyer with the Boston legal firm of Shapiro, Israel, & Weiner. He is also treasurer of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and former chairman of the UMass Chancellor''s Council. Weiner received his bachelor''s degree from the University in 1963.
Denise M. Coll, Food and Natural Resources. A 1975 graduate of the UMass hotel, restaurant, and travel administration (HRTA) program, Coll was recently appointed the chief operating officer of the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center in Boston. She also serves as a member of the HRTA Industry Advisory Board and works hard to increase career opportunities for UMass HRTA graduates.