UT president Ronald L. Vaughn will be presented the Ellis Island Medal of
Honor at a black-tie gala to be held May 15 on Ellis Island. William Denis
Fugazy, chairman of the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, made the
announcement in mid-April. Tampa Bay Devil Rays owner Vincent Naimoli, New York
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and UT board chair emeritus Al Austin
nominated Vaughn for the honor.
“The Ellis Island Medal of Honor Awards allow us an opportunity to honor the
best in America—those who lend their talents, time and energy to making our
country a better place for us all,” Fugazy said.
Established in 1986 by NECO, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor pays tribute to
the ancestry groups that comprise America's unique cultural mosaic. More than
1,300 ethnic American citizens and Native Americans have received medals.
Included in the list of 2004 Medals recipients are Queen Noor of Jordan,
musician-composer Yanni, sportscasters Sal Marchiano and Warner Wolf, Irish
step-dancer Michael Flatley, artist Leroy Neiman, Chairman Gopal Raju of the
Indian-American Center for Political Awareness, and Archbishop Demetrios of the
Greek Orthodox Church of America.
Past recipients of the Ellis Island Medals of Honor include six presidents of
the United States, members of Congress, Nobel Prize winners, justices of the
U.S. Supreme Court, prominent scientists, business people, entertainers and
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