To pay tribute to two alumni's outstanding public service records, a committee will give the graduates special honors at Alumni Day on Feb. 21. Eric Lander '78, a biologist, will receive the Woodrow Wilson Award, and Charles Rosen '48 GS '51, a pianist, will receive the James Madison Medal.
The Woodrow Wilson Award, which was first given in 1956, is given each year to an undergraduate alumnus or alumna distinguished "in the nation's service," according to a recent press release. Lander currently serves as director of the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research, a nationally funded organization. His research group produced the first human and mouse genetic maps.
While a student here, Lander majored in mathematics. He was a Pyne Prize winner, a Rhodes Scholar and class valedictorian. After earning a Ph.D. at Oxford University, he joined the Harvard Business School faculty.
After teaching himself biology and molecular biology, he went on to win a MacArthur Fellowship in 1987. Lander was not available for comment yesterday.
Rosen will be awarded the James Madison Medal, which recognizes an alumnus or alumna of the graduate school "who has had a distinguished career, advanced the cause of graduate education or achieved a record of outstanding public service," according to the press release. The award has been given out annually since 1973.
As a professor of music and social thought at the University of Chicago, Rosen is known for his interpretations of Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann and Liszt. While studying at Princeton, he majored in modern languages and literatures and later received his Ph.D. in the same field. Rosen was also unavailable for comment yesterday.
Both award winners will give public presentations based upon their work on Alumni Day. In the morning, Lander will deliver a speech entitled "Human Genetics and Human Society: What Does the 21st Century Hold?" In the afternoon, Rosen will give a recital of works by Mozart and Brahms.
During lunch, Lander and Rosen will both receive citations signed by President Shapiro to honor their work. Additionally, the Alumni Council committee will present a $1,000 check to Lander and an inscribed medal to Rosen.
A volunteer organization of the Alumni Council determines who should be honored each year, University spokesman Justin Harmon '78 said. Having voted in November, the committee announced the winners earlier this month.
Last year, the winner of the Woodrow Wilson Award was Neil Rudenstine '56, president of Harvard University, and the winner of the James Madison Medal was Anthony Lake GS '74, former national security adviser to President Clinton.
Other winners of the Woodrow Wilson Award include Adlai Stevenson '22, Ralph Nader '55 and Bill Bradley '65. Past recipients of the James Madison Medal include George Will GS '68 and Cornel West GS '80.