General Picked For Top Alumni Award

By Sandra Howe
Staff Writer

The Alumni Association will present its highest honor to US Marine Corps General John J. Sheehan, '62, at the annual Alumni Awards of Excellence ceremony on May 10 in Robsham Theater. In addition, nine other alumni will be honored for contributions to their respective professions.

Sheehan, the first four-star general officer in Boston College's alumni ranks, will be presented with the William V. McKenney Award in recognition of his leadership as supreme allied commander of Atlantic operations and as commander-in-chief of the US Atlantic Command. His combat tours included the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars and he has received several decorations and medals, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, and the Purple Heart.

The Alumni Association also will present the Young Alumni Achivement Award, and Alumni Awards of Excellence in commerce, education, health care, law, public service, religion and science at the event, which will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The Award of Excellence in Commerce will be presented to Paul G. Paget, '45, MSW '49, president of Swan Boats Inc., a tradition synonymous with Boston since 1877, when his grandfather started the company that operates the famous tourist attraction in the Boston Public Garden. Paget has carried on the tradition for the past 50 years.

The recipient of the Award of Excellence in Education will be Philip Jackson Jr., '74, MEd '79, lead psychologist for the Boston Public School Department and coordinator for the Down By Law-Straight A Program, a joint venture between the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Police Department. Jackson also serves as the school department's crisis response leader, coordinating services for students, faculty and parents who have been affected by traumatic events. In addition, he is a member of the Cambridge Hospital Community Crisis Response Team.

Gynecologist Thomas S. Durant, '51, assistant director of Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, will receive the Health Profession Award. Durant has treated illnesses and injuries in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Vietnam and other areas of conflict over the past few decades. He recently received the United Nations' prestigious Humanitarian Award.

Michael E. Saucier, '75, an active lawyer in the field of juvenile justice for the past 18 years, will receive the Award of Excellence in Law. Saucier has chaired the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group since 1990 and previously served as an assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the state. In 1994, he was elected national chair of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice.

The Public Service Award will be presented to Nancy Lee Matthews, MEd '63, executive director of Covenant House Florida, a crisis shelter for youths under 21. Matthews has been a leader in developing programs at the shelter, which has served over 16,000 young people in its 10-year existence.

Deacon Joseph L. Delaney, '44, and Fr. James J. Haddad, '53, will be co-recipients of the Award of Excellence in Religion. Delaney was a member of the first class of permanent deacons ordained by the Archdiocese of Boston 20 years ago. Fr. Haddad, pastor of St. Joseph's Parish in Needham, was appointed by Cardinal Bernard Law to be the first executive director of the Archdiocesean Development Office in June 1985. In addition, Cardinal John Cushing named Fr. Haddad as a founder-director of the Pastoral Institute, the center for the continuing education of priests.

The Science Award will go to Patrick P. Leahy, '68, MS '70, who was appointed chief geologist of the United States Geological Survey last May.

The Young Alumni Achievement Award will be presented to C. Erik Weinhenmayer, '91, a blind teacher and wrestling coach who will be honored as an inspiration to visually impaired persons. Among his achievements, Weinhenmayer climbed Mt. McKinley last June, an event sponsored by the American Foundation for the Blind.

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