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President Vaughn Earns Ellis Island Medal

Published: April 26, 2004

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 military heroes.


For more information, contact the Office of Public Information at