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Donna Shalala Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

Published: 6/19/2008

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Donna Shalala

Donna Shalala, currently President of the University of Miami, taught at TC from 1972 through 1979, chairing the College's program in Politics and Education.

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Former Teachers College faculty member Donna Shalala, who was U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services during the Clinton Administration and currently serves as President of the University of Miami, has been named to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in June. The medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

In announcing the honor, the White House described Shalala as “one of our nation’s most distinguished educators and public officials” who has “worked tirelessly to ensure that all Americans can enjoy lives of hope, promise and dignity.”

Shalala taught at TC from 1972 through 1979, chairing the College’s program in Politics and Education. During that period, she mentored many students who went on to hold significant public service posts -- including current TC President Susan Fuhrman, at whose inauguration Shalala spoke in January 2007.

Others who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom include Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Benjamin Carson, the Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon who performed the world’s first successful operation separating twins conjoined at the back of the head. Dr. Carson received TC’s Medal for Distinguished Service in 2006.