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Feature

UMAA honors top volunteers

From eNews, August 31, 2006

Each year, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) honors significant contributions made by individuals, societies, chapters, and interest groups, as well as exceptional programs sponsored by UMAA alumni societies, geographic chapters, and interest groups. This year is no different.

Three University of Minnesota graduates will be named 2006 Alumni Volunteers of the Year and a former UMAA president will be recognized with an Alumni Service Award at the 24th annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 15, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Coffman Memorial Union's Great Hall on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis.

Stephen Litton, who received his degrees from the University in 1965, 1967 and 1972, is one of the three Alumni Volunteers of the Year. He serves on the boards of directors of both the UMAA and the School of Dentistry Alumni Society (SODAS) while maintaining a busy orthodontic practice and holding key leadership positions in several professional organizations. He will be recognized as an extremely committed volunteer who has worked tirelessly on behalf of the UMAA and SODAS.

And the other awards go to...

Alumni Service Award
Andrea Hjelm '65, past UMAA president

Faculty/Staff of the Year Award
Debra Skaar '86

Rising Star Award
Michelle Hanson '01

Student Volunteer of the Year Award
Phillip Brummond '07

Outstanding Alumni Society of the Year Award
School of Nursing Alumni Society

Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award
Rochester Area Alumni and Friends of the University of Minnesota
*Honorable Mention
Southwest Florida Chapter

Program Extraordinaire Award
Boston Chapter (Garrison Keillor and the Newton Symphony Orchestra event)

School of Dentistry Alumni Society (Golf Classic)

Institute of Technology Alumni Society (TechFest)

Grand Gold Award
College of Education and Human Development Alumni Society

Hats Off Award
Individual winners to be announced at the ceremony

Robert "Bob" Freemore, a 1975 food science graduate, and Patrick Weicherding, with 1972, 1978 and 1984 degrees in forestry, will receive the Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award as the team that brought together three separate alumni groups to form a vibrant new College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences Alumni Society. Both gave generously of their time, enthusiasm and energy this year in support of the University's strategic planning goal to become one of the top three public research university's in the world.

"[The awards are] an opportunity for us to say congratulations and thank you to those who play an invaluable role in helping us achieve our mission--to provide a lifelong connection between alumni and the U," says Margaret Sughrue Carlson, UMAA chief executive officer. "We consider a volunteer's commitment of time and talent crucial to the strength and vitality of our organization and of the University."

Andrea Hjelm, who received her bachelor's degree from the College of Education in 1965, is this year's recipient of the Alumni Service Award--one of the most prestigious awards bestowed upon alums. Hjelm is owner of Minneapolis-based Moore Creative Talent, Inc. and a past UMAA president. She currently serves on the alumni association board and the University's Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Board. In 2001, Hjelm, who is also a member of the U?s President's Club, chaired the "Save Gopher Sports" auction.

"My love and appreciation for the U have only grown over the years," says Hjelm. "It's always been a pleasure and honor to serve this great institution and I will continue to do so. Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader."

The awards ceremony is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, visit the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the U, visit UMAA online. (Look for the following links on the left navigation bar: Chapters, Collegiate societies, and Interests Groups; Legislative Network; and Career Resources & Mentoring.)