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Home > News > Press Releases & Media Advisories > Press Release

Five to receive UCI Medal

Irvine, Calif., August 7, 1995

Five outstanding individuals this fall will receive UCI's highest honor, the UCI Medal. UCI's equivalent of an honorary degree, the medal is awarded to those whose service and commitment represent the spirit and vision of the University.

Recipients are Thomas Keneally, former distinguished professor of English and former co-director of UCI's Program in Writing; Thomas Nielsen, managing director of U.S. Trust Co. of California; Safi Qureshey, co-founder and chief executive officer of AST Research; Marjorie Rawlins, arts supporter and former member of the UCI Foundation Board of Directors; and Francisco Ayala, Bren Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.

"These individuals deserve our highest praise for their dedication and service," said Chancellor Laurel Wilkening. "Their outstanding contributions have helped shape the campus and strengthen ties to the community."

Keneally, author of 27 books, including "Schindler's List" and his latest work, "A River Town," has been called "one of the most talented of current Australian writers" by the New Yorker and "one of the least predictable and most interesting of contemporary authors" by the Christian Science Monitor. While at UCI, Keneally served as co-director of UCI's Program in Writing and helped with fundraising efforts on behalf of the University.

Nielsen and his wife Marilyn are leading benefactors of UCI, supporting the Program in Writing, the Oaks Classic and the College of Medicine Research Associates. Nielsen is a member the UCI Foundation Board, the Bren Events Center Board, and is a founder of the UCI Chief Executive Roundtable.

Qureshey and his wife Anita also are leading supporters of UCI, contributing to the UCI Farm School and providing the lead expansion gift of $1 million to the Bonney Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. He is a member of the CEO Roundtable and the UCI Foundation Board. Qureshey's firm, AST Research, also has made several gifts to the Graduate School of Management, the School of Engineering, the College of Medicine and other campus units.

Rawlins, with her late husband Robert, has been a generous benefactor of UCI since 1982. Her most recent contribution was a $1 million gift to establish the Rawlins endowed music scholarships in piano, violin, viola and cello. She also has supported the Chancellor's Club, Daniel G. Aldrich, Jr. Society and UCI Chamber Music.

Ayala, who was selected to serve on President Clinton's 18-member Committee of Advisers on Science and Technology last summer, is past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is internationally recognized for his research in evolutionary biology and population genetics.

The UCI Medal was created in 1984 and incorporates the academic tradition of the University of California with the community spirit of UCI.

The medals will be presented at the UCI Medal Ceremony and Dinner on November 2, 1995, at the Newport Beach Marriott. Tickets are available by calling Kim Vo at (714) 824-8695.


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