UMass Amherst Recognizes Distinguished Alumni and Friends on April 9 at State House

AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Alumni Association will present its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Thurs. April 9 at noon in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House. Attendance at the ceremonies is by invitation only, but reporters are welcome.

The UMass Alumni Association bestows the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of extraordinary professional achievement. This year’s recipients are Matthew Golombek, ’78 M.S., ’81 Ph.D., chief scientist for the Mars Pathfinder Mission; Jan R. Schlichtmann ’73, noted trial lawyer and soon to be featured in the movie "A Civil Action"; David J. Colella ’75, vice president and managing director of the Colonnade Hotel in Boston; and Anastasia Morfesis, ’84 M.S., ’86 Ph.D., secretary general of the American Chemical Society.

The Young Alumnus of the Year award will be presented to Michael Tannenbaum ’91, a graduate of the School of Management who was recently appointed director of player negotiations for the New York Jets.

Three long-time friends of the Amherst campus will also be awarded Honorary Alumni status during the ceremonies, according to Robert M. Goodhue ’70, president of the UMass Alumni Association. The three are Professor Emeritus Vladimir Haensel, who recently received the National Academy of Engineering’s Charles Stark Draper Prize; State Representative Ellen Story; and former UMass trustee, philanthropist E. Paul Robsham LLD ’92.

Chancellor David K. Scott says: "That each of these recipients demonstrates the qualities of enormous intellectual caliber, character, and achievement speaks for itself. But we also like to think it says something about us — the University of Massachusetts — and the notion of universal and affordable access to excellence."

Scott says the annual ceremonies provide an important opportunity for the UMass community to tell its distinguished alumni: "You have brought great honor to this university, and we thank you."

State Senator and UMass alumnus Stan Rosenberg ’77 will be the keynote speaker at the ceremonies and the UMass Chamber Chorus is scheduled to perform under the direction of guest conductor David W. Hodgkins ’82.