Published: June 1, 2011 By

The tradition of honoring the University of Colorado Boulder’s best began in 1930 and continues today as the CU-Boulder Alumni Association announces 16 outstanding members of the university community who were recognized at a free public ceremony on campus Wednesday, May 4.

The George Norlin Award honors outstanding alumni for their careers and service to society.  Recipients of the 2011 Norlin Award are: Dean Boal (Mus, MusEdu’53, PhD’59), musician, professor and former director of arts and performance programs for National Public Radio; Larissa Bernhardt Herda (PolSci’80), chairman, CEO and president of tw telecom inc., and avid supporter of Leeds School of Business;   Anthony “Tony” Ortega (Span’80, MFA’95), one of the nation’s most respected artists whose work reflects community connectedness in Chicano families, neighborhoods, churches and schools; and Lucinda McWilliam Sanders (MCompSci78), successful inventor whose groundbreaking work on an operating system made voice and multimedia possible over the Internet and who serves as executive-in-residence for CU ATLAS  Institute.

Three professors and one football coach will receive the Robert L. Stearns Award in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the university: Bernard Amadei, a civil engineering professor who is co-founding president of Engineers Without Borders-USA, an organization that involves 12,000 members working in 45 countries on more than 350 projects that include water, renewable energy and sanitation; Brian Cabral (Rec’79), whose stellar 25-year football career on the Boulder campus  makes him the longest full-time assistant coach in CU history; David Getches, law school dean, whose tenure has led to three new legal clinics, three certificate programs , increased scholarships, the completion of the 2006 Wolf Law Building and an 80 percent increase in the school’s endowment; and Daniel Liston, an education professor whose excellence in teaching has netted many awards and who co-directs Colorado Courage to Teach, a professional development program for public school teachers.

Two alumni are being recognized with the Alumni Recognition Award. James D.Copeland (PE’62, Arch’69), former president of the CU-Boulder Alumni Association Directors Club,  brought enthusiasm and strong leadership to his role as he steered the club in the right direction during his tenure. Ron Geschwer’s (Psych’01) relentless enthusiasm for CU as president of the New York Buffs, the alumni chapter in New York City, has made it one of the strongest CU chapters in the country.

Sue Duris McMurdy (Econ’84) will receive the Leanne Skupa-Lee Award as a faithful National Alumni Admissions Assistance Program volunteer for more than 20 years, participating in college fairs and doing other work to recruit CU’s next generation of students.

The Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Graduate Award will go to two alumni. Jason Burdick (PhDChemEngr’02) is a University of Pennsylvania associate professor whose ground-breaking research using biomaterials to treat cartilage, meniscus and cardiac tissue may help treat patients with cartilage damage.  Richard “Trey” Lyons III (PolSci’00) is a State Department foreign service officer whose impressive career has taken him to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Bratislava, Slovakia, and Washington, D.C.

Three students will be recognized as recipients of the Forever Buffs Student Awards: Justin Macauley (Bus’11) transformed the CU men’s club soccer team into one of the most successful in CU history and volunteered many hours to help strengthen Alumni Association programs. Dan Omasta’s (EnvSt’11) efforts to make the campus more environmentally friendly have resulted in a number of accomplishments, as has his work to build stronger bonds between students and alumni.  Marni Spott (Ger, IntlAf’12) will be honored for her relentless dedication to and work with The Herd, the student group of the Alumni Association that creates and preserves university traditions and gives students opportunities in public service.

The May 4 awards ceremony begins at 7 p.m. in Old Main Chapel on the CU-Boulder campus.  A reception with dessert will follow in the CU Heritage Center on the third floor of Old Main.

Based in the Koenig Alumni Center at the corner of Broadway and University Avenue, the CU-Boulder Alumni Association administers scholarships, awards, online networking opportunities, alumni clubs, a museum and publishes the monthly electronic newsletter Buffalum Notes and the quarterly Coloradan alumni magazine.