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ALBANY, N.Y. (December 6, 2007) -- The University at Albany will bestow the Medallion of the University on Albany Mayor Gerald D. Jennings for extraordinary public service and leadership. The Medallion of the University is UAlbany's highest award for distinguished service. Jennings, who earned his master's degree in educational administration from the University in 1976, will receive the medallion at the winter commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 9th. There will be a black-tie gala on Saturday, Dec. 8th in recognition of the award.
"The medallion is the highest award for distinguished service that the University at Albany confers," said UAlbany Interim President George M. Philip. "It expresses our admiration and appreciation for extraordinary public service and leadership. Those qualities are exemplified by Mayor Jennings, a visionary leader and one of our truly outstanding alums."
"It's an honor to be recognized by the University community with such a distinguished award," said Jennings. "I am proud to have graduated from this university, and I have been privileged to partner with UAlbany for the betterment of the city, its people and the entire community."
The Gala, themed "Great Man. Great City. Great University." will be held at SEFCU Arena, beginning at 6 p.m., and will include a video tribute to the mayor, as well as musical performances by the Brian Patneaude Quartet and the UAlbany Earth Tones. The Gala is sponsored by the University at Albany Alumni Association, Center for Economic Growth, DEPFA First Albany Securities LLC, SEFCU, KeyBank and the Times Union.
Jennings, in his fourth term, is the 74th mayor of the City of Albany, New York State's capital. Jennings successfully ran for election to the city's Common Council, serving the 11th Ward for 13 years before he won election as mayor in 1993. Under his leadership, the City of Albany in 1998 received the "City Livability Award" from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. In the same year, Albany and its mayor were awarded for promoting cooperative relations between government and the business community.
Mayor Jennings' commitment to education has led him to initiate and participate in programs for the safety of the many college students who live off campus and regularly visit local businesses. Through Jennings' steadfast leadership and commitment to his alma mater, the University has been able to partner on a wide range of initiatives with the City of Albany, including Operation Safe Corridor, UAlbany's downtown Student Housing and Revitalization Project at Alumni Quad, and the UAlbany Clean-Up Day of downtown neighborhoods. Jennings was also co-host of the New York State Summit on Preventing Student Alcohol Abuse.
Jennings also developed the Midtown Homeownership Program with area banks and universities to encourage college faculty and staff to invest in homes in the city.
In 1996, Jennings played a vital role in helping to bring the New York Giants Summer Training Camp to UAlbany. Next season the Giants will return UAlbany for the 13th consecutive summer, the longest tenure of any training camp location.
Recent winners of the Medallion of the University include philanthropist Michael H. Steinhardt (2004) and acclaimed author Carol Gilligan (2006).